According to a survey by the National Centre for Health Statistics and the National Centre for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, there could significant benefits of fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are the most common non-vitamin, non-mineral natural product taken by adults these days. This statistic is hardly surprising when you think about how many wellness experts and health organisations, as well as the mainstream media and Internet supplement makers, extol the wellbeing benefits of fish oil, but what’s all the fuss about?
There are two omega-3 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fatty acids found in seafood, such as fish, krill, and calamari. These acids are known as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and the highest sources of them can be found in cold water, fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna. Research has consistently shown that fish eaters are less likely to die from coronary heart disease, and omega-3s are thought to be the reason why.
However, the benefits of fish oil have shown in other studies where they have also linked EPA and DHA to other benefits, ranging from brain health to improving psychological disorders and treating arthritis. Yet, omega-3s really shine when it comes to heart health. EPA and DHA help to reduce your triglyceride levels and blood pressure, slightly raise your levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, provide blood-thinning benefits, slow your progression of atherosclerosis (which leads to heart disease), and reduce your risk of sudden death due to cardiac arrhythmia.
So can you get the benefits of fish oil from a supplement?
The American Heart Association prefers a food-based approach to increasing intake, but supplements still have their place. According to Roberta Anding, MS, RD, Director of Sports Nutrition at Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital, ‘Studies have found benefits for both fish and fish oil. If an individual does not like fish, then clearly the supplement form is a better option and the majority of the benefits of fish oil can be gained this way.’
She adds that fish can contain mercury, which is detrimental to wellness, noting ‘Additionally, it is cold water fish that contains the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, so eating tilapia from the Gulf (of Mexico) is not the same in (omega-3) content as wild Alaskan salmon.’ However, it’s best to get your omega-3s from dietary sources if you can, and consult your doctor before moving on to supplements.
Eureka Supplements has a range of Fish Oil supplements including our premium H-Mega. Click here to find out more.