So what’s the deal with fish oil anyway? We hear it’s amazing for us and can help with everything from lowering blood pressure, to fighting cancer and asthma, to combating mental illness and even increasing hair growth – but what does it really do?
Fish oil is super high in Omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to
But lately, many experts are coming out and saying that fish oil supplements are overhyped and overused. According to one study out of Britain, almost one in five people in the UK take some type of fish oil supplement. And according to this article from Scientific American, “neither eating extra helpings of fish nor taking fish oil supplements reduces the risk of stroke, heart attack or death.” The article further cites other studies that have provided evidence that fish oil capsules also do not prevent cognitive decline or alleviate depression.
So, are fish oil supplements completely useless?
Not necessarily. What is pretty clear is that Omega-3’s found in fish are beneficial to one’s health – but just how beneficial it is in supplemental form depends on each individual. Many of us get in these good fats and nutrients through whole foods we’re eating anyways, and when we eat these foods in their natural form, we also have the added benefit of absorbing all of the other nutrients that come along with that instead of something in a pill form that’s been derived from just one small part of the fish (usually the fat.) There has been study after study that shows evidence that the Mediterranean Diet – which involves lots of fish and other healthy fats like olive oil and avocados – has done wonders for reducing cardiovascular disease and blood pressure.
The only sure takeaway from all of this? It’s way better to eat real fish than take fish oil supplements, but the supplements won’t hurt you (especially if you don’t normally fish in your diet.) As with everything, proceed with caution, and check in with your doctor about any major health changes.
– Esther Carlstone