Fish Oil Facts

Dr. Kristina Fruechtl Blog

Fish oil has A LOT of benefits for both disease prevention and health management, with the most benefits coming from omega-3 fatty acids.

 

There are many forms of omega-3 fatty acids. The types found fatty fish such as salmon, called DHA and EPA, have been studied most extensively and appear to have the strongest health benefits. Another form of omega-3 fatty acid is known as ALA is found in vegetable oils, flaxseed, walnuts, and dark leafy vegetables such as spinach.

Here are some of the benefits to omega-3 fatty acids as described by Clinical Dietitians and Researchers as presented at a recent conference in Minneapolis:

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD):  It’s recommended to take 500mg/day for prevention or 1 gram/day if you have CVD.

Joint Health:  1.8 grams/day is recommended and take for 3-4 months to experience full benefit.

Triglyceride and Lipid Management:  2 -4 grams/day is recommended.

Mood: EPA is most important (over DHA) for promoting positive mood. A dose of  2 grams EPA/ day is recommended.

Cognitive Health:  DHA is most important for cognitive health since it is the predominant omega-3 fatty acid in the brain.  It has a protective effect and may improve cognitive decline.  It may also be helpful for macular degeneration.  A dose of  900 mg DHA/day is recommended over a prolonged period of time.

Taking fish oil supplements yields the best results when taken consistently for long- term use.  One barrier to achieving noticeable subjective (how you feel) results and objective (what lab result show) results is that many people lapse in taking fish oils over time for various reasons.  It’s important to have a supplement that has been tested for contaminants by a third-party lab because fish oil has high risk of contamination of mercury.  Pregnant and nursing women should limit their consumption of fish due to increased risk of toxic contaminants.