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Is Fish Oil Really Good For You?

Is Fish Oil Really Good For You? | Mr Vitamins
Well it depends… Fish Oil is one of the most popular of all nutritional supplements bought here in Australia.  It contains the largest and most available amount of Omega-3 essential fatty acids of any supplement.  These have been shown to have beneficial effects in many of the common health issues we experience which include:
  • Heart Health – taking fish oil is associated with a reduced risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
  • High Blood Pressure – fish oil appears to reduce blood pressure where a person has what is called mild hypertension
  • High Cholesterol – fish oil reduces triglycerides, decreases the secretion of “bad cholesterol” VLDL’s and increases the secretion of “good cholesterol” HDL’s
  • Arthritis in all its forms – the anti-inflammatory effects of fish oil allow relief from the pain and stiffness of joints and muscles
Fish oil has also been of benefit in the prevention or alleviation of these conditions:
  • Osteoporosis in conjunction with evening primrose oil and calcium
  • Some Cancers
  • Macular Degeneration - age onset
  • Eye and Nervous System Health in developing children and infants where inadequate levels of Omega-3’s can inhibit full development and function
  • Alzheimer’s, Schizophrenia, Depression, Suicide – people with these and other mental problems have been shown to have low levels of Omega-3.  (It is interesting to note that in countries where more fish is eaten these conditions seem to be less prevalent)
Fish oil may also be of benefit in these conditions:
  • ADHD and Dyspraxia - by taking a combination of fish and evening primrose oil
  • Ulcerative Colitis and Chron’s Disease – where it can help reduce the inflammation, help rebuild tissue and assist to prevent re-occurrence
  • Dysmenorrhea where it provides pain relief
  • Skin Health – alleviating dry skin and the itching and inflammation of conditions such as Psoriasis
So is Fish Oil really good for you?  Well, in Australia the answer is “Yes”.  The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) – which regulates quality issues with health supplements and medicines require all fish oils to be tested for Mercury levels. Only those that pass the Australian Standard (with very low or no mercury levels) are allowed to the sold.  So providing that the oil meets TGA standards, there should be no problem. The Omega-3 essential fatty acids present in a 1gm Fish Oil Capsule are usually: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) 180mg and Docosahexanoic acid (DHA)120mg. The recommended dosage is normally 3-4 capsules per day. Check with your Naturopath or health care practitioner about what is right for you. It is important to check the label to see the levels or EPA and DHA in each capsule. This helps determine the right dosage for you.  You may also find vitamin E has been added to the fish oil as this helps prevent rancidity.
N.B. Remember to consult your Naturopath or healthcare practitioner before taking Fish Oil if you have been prescribed pharmaceutical medication. It is often advised to stop taking fish oil at least two weeks prior to any surgery.