What Is Fish Oil

Fish oil is a supplement derived from fish that is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. This omega fat can be obtained from eating fish, nuts and some other foods, but most western diets do not contain enough omega 3s, instead are high in omega 6s. Nature Made fish oil and other fish oil products contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic), two omega 3 fatty acids that are important in brain and heart health. Fish oil benefits cover a range of issues from heart disease to depression.

Fish Oil for the Heart

The mayo clinic endorses fish oil as an important supplement for patients with heart disease. It has been shown to reduce blood pressure, blood triglyceride levels and reduce the risk of heart attacks. Heart attack victims and heart surgery patients may be advised by their doctor to take fish oil.

Depression and Anxiety

Fish oil is indicated for treatment of depression and anxiety. People with depression and anxiety disorders may have low levels DHA and EPA in their blood. Fish oil has been effective in treating some cases of depression in combination with other depression medications. As with other medications, fish oil seems to have more effect on severe cases than minor cases

More Brain Health Issues

Fish oil may be beneficial to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients as it can protect the brain against some of the effects of these diseases. In healthy people, fish oil may also improve brain function. DHA is particularly important in brain development of babies while in the womb, and taking fish oil supplements during pregnancy is a good way to ensure that enough DHA reaches the developing baby. Always discuss with your doctor before taking any supplements during pregnancy.


Though risks are low, when taking fish oil, do not exceed recommended dosages; as with other supplements, too much fish oil can be dangerous. It can cause bleeding and exposures to toxins like PCBs and dioxins. It is best to get fish oil from smaller fish like sardines and herring that are lower on the food chain because there is less bioaccumulation of toxins in these fish.

Some are concerned about the presence of pesticides and search for organic fish oil. But since fish oil isn’t farmed, there is no certified organic fish oil. Pesticides, though possibly present in trace amounts in fish oil, are not a major concern.

Tips for Taking Fish Oil

If you’ve ever taken fish oil capsules, you may be familiar with the fishy smelling breath and burps that sometimes occur after taking them. There are several ways to avoid this unpleasant occurrence. Taking them with meals reduces the fish flavor by trapping the oil under food in your stomach, preventing vapors from coming back up. Another trick is to freeze the gel caps before taking them.

Adding fish oil capsules to your supplement regimen may be a good way to improve your health in several areas. The omega fat, particularly omega 3s found in fish oil, are good for heart and brain health. When taken within the recommended dosages, and after consult with a doctor, nature made fish oil supplements are safe and the fish oil benefits are great.