Fish oil from fatty cold water fish like salmon, sardine or herring is a valuable source of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). These ingredients, long-chain fatty acids called Omega-3s, have positive effects on general health and especially heart health (see http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/2/6/e000513.long and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24205713). They are known to improve the health of the blood vessels, have a positive effect on blood pressure. They also increase protein synthesis and reduce inflammatory reactions (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19515734), as well as the DNA damage done by smoking cigarettes (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24288948).
To increase the health benefits of fish oil, supplements often combine it with CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10), a powerful natural antioxidant. Scientific studies suggest show evidence that CoQ10 may help treat heart failure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even diabetes, especially when combined with conventional medications. (see http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/coenzyme-q10). While many studies show clearly positive effects, fish oil and Omega-3 supplements certainly do not heal any heart disease, but as a part of a healthy lifestyle they help keep your hearth and cardiovascular system healthy.
Does Omega-3 fish oil have any disadvantages or known side effects?
The main disadvantage is the very strong taste and smell. Many people even recognize it when taking pills or capsules, in the form of “fishy burps”. The alternative is Omega-3 oil from calamari, a certain type of squids. It contain a lot of DHA as well, but doesn’t come with the unpleasant aftertaste side effect. This so-called calamarine® Omega-3 is mainly used in high quality supplements like Omega 3 Plus from Dr. Sinatra, by the way a product that was sold over 7 million times and the US and is often recommended as one of the best Omega-3 supplements available.
Are there health benefits of fish oil for pregnant women?
In general pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid any supplements without explicit permission by a doctor. The is no reason to assume that natural ingredients like fish oil are dangerous, but as long as there aren’t any specific scientific studies, ask your doctor first.
Why not eat fish instead of using a fish oil supplement?
Fatty cold water fish is healthy, go ahead, 3.5 ounces contain about 1 gram Omega-3 fatty acids (http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-993-FISH%20OIL.aspx?activeIngredientId=993&activeIngredientName=FISH%20OIL). The advantage of supplements is that many people don’t like fish or at least don’t want to eat it on a daily basis. Pills or gel capsules are simply an easy and comfortable alternative to ensure a constant daily intake.
Is the quality of all fish oil supplements the same?
No, they aren’t. Especially cheap supplements, for example from China, are often not manufactured according to the standard operation procedures (SOPs) recommended in the good manufacturing pratice guideslines (GMPs) or the Federal Drug and Food Administration (FDA). Additional quality assurance and internal product testing increase the overall manufacturing price, but are important. We would always recommend picking a quality product like Omega Q Plus you can trust in.
Low cost fish oil supplements from dubious sources can contain toxic contaminants, especially found in predatory fish species that aren’t from aquaculture, like mercury or even dioxin. So, do yourself and your health a favour and pick a reputable product from the US.
Also keep in mind that you may want to verify that the company offering the product cares for consumers and consumer service by being accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and showing a positive BBB score on a scale from A+ to F.
Who is Dr. Sinatra?
As you may have recognized, we mentioned the supplements from Dr. Stepen Sinatra on our website. He is a highly respected cardiologist with over 30 years of experience and is the founder of the New England Heart Center. His reputation and expertise are beyond any doubts, he’s a leading expert for integrative cardiology.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only, they do not constitute any medical endorsements of those other sites. Calamarine® is a registered trademark of Pharma Marine AS.