Even with a healthy diet, getting your daily vitamin need is a hard task to comply. This is why supplements and multivitamins were made, in order to provide you with the optimal levels of those hard to get vitamins. Dietary supplements are also now available to provide you with specific nutrients that could protect certain factions of your health. For instance, fish oil.
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, It includes eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is believed to be very beneficial to your cardiovascular health. Omega-3 also plays an important role in inflammation, brain function, and in body’s normal growth and development.
Unfortunately, your body does not generate omega-3s by itself, but you can get it from the food you eat. Aside from fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, some plants are also rich in another type of omega-3 which the body can convert to EPA and DHA. You can get this type of omega-3 from flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and canola oil. However, consuming these foods in large quantities frequently is not ideal for anyone. That’s why fish oil supplements were made.
Aside from protecting your cardiovascular health, fish oil is claimed to lower your blood pressure and triglyceride or cholesterol levels. It can also ease inflammation, support your bone health and mood, and help with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
With all these promising benefits, fish oil has become the third most widely used dietary supplement in the United States, after vitamins and minerals. One problem, though: there is no strong evidence that proves any of the benefits of taking fish oil supplements.
A collective analysis of 24 studies on fish oil supplement from 2005 to 2012, mostly revolving around the cardiovascular benefits of the pill, shows that fish oil had no significant effect when placed on trial with placebo. And yet, during this time, sales of fish oil supplements doubled around the world.
It is true that the EPA and DHA you can get from the omega-3 found in fish oil supplements should improve cardiovascular health but this is all in theory. It was the studies during the 1970s and 1990s that sparked the hype for fish oil. Then about a decade ago, patients with heart problems started getting advised to get more omega-3s in their diet.
Experts do not recommend taking fish oil unless you absolutely do not have fish in your diet. Even with several intensive researches disproving the benefits of fish oil, claims about the supplement do not die down easily. Although taking fish oil supplements are not in any way harmful to your health, the benefits you gain from investing in it is still open for scientific debate, though the favour is tipping towards the “unbeneficial” side. So if you’re taking fish oil supplements, or planning to, you may want to reconsider where you invest your money.