Should you be taking fish oil supplements?

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Fish oil supplements have been getting a lot of attention lately, what’s so special about fish oil supplements is that these contain essential Omega-3 fatty acids that our body cannot make and are required for brain development, prevention of heart diseases, arthritis and curbing inflammation. So, all the hype around fish oil supplements is justified, there are many health claims surrounding these miracle fish oil supplements that have pushed Americans to spend $1 Billion a year on these supplements.

Eating commercially sold fish comes with its risk of being contaminated with Mercury, since our seas are getting increasingly contaminated with industrial waste, people do not feel it’s safe to eat fish out of a can, and would rather take fish oil supplement to make up for omega-3 deficiency. Fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, tuna and cod liver are rich sources of omega-3 that are essential to human beings. The two key omega-3 fatty acids our bodies require are DHA and EPA, and these fish are a direct source of DHA and EPA.

Taking over the counter supplements and over dosing are a major health risk factors, if fish oil supplements have not been prescribed by the doctor, there is absolutely no need to take them. Because some research indicates the risk of prostate cancer increases in people having fish oil supplements on a regular basis. When you take the whole fish it is not only loaded with omega-3, but fats, vitamins and minerals and that is the healthiest combination for you. Benefits of eating seafood doesn’t come entirely from omega-3s.

Same goes for vitamin supplements, supplements are not a substitute over eating fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. If you don’t want to eat fish, you can still get omega-3s from flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, olive oil and canola oil. As a matter of fact, fish oil cannot prevent heart diseases in someone that has a high risk factor for the disease, such as family risk factor, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and others. High doses of fish oil supplements have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer.

Consumption of high dose such as 3g/day is not safe, you shouldn’t be taking more than 1g of fish oil per day, otherwise it could do more harm than good. A new finding suggests that pregnant women shouldn’t be taking fish oil supplements, the benefits of fish oil supplements are under weighed by harmful effects so far, so it is best to avoid these supplements during pregnancy.