Fish Oil Basics
Fish oil vitamins are typically made from mackerel, tuna, herring, halibut, salmon, cod liver, whale blubber and seal blubber, and often contain small amounts of vitamin E as a preservative, according to MedlinePlus. Some fish oil supplements are made with the additions of other nutrients, such as iron, calcium and vitamins A, B-1, B-2, B-3, C an
Fish oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are particularly effective for improving and maintaining heart health. Among individuals with heart disease, there’s evidence that DHA and EPA in fish oil supplements can lower triglycerides and reduce the risk of heart attacks, abnormal heart rhythms, strokes and death, reports MayoClinic.com. DHA and EPA may also slow the buildup of plaque in the arteries and lower blood pressure.
Other Possible Benefits
Although further research is needed for conclusive results, there is some evidence that fish oil supplements may help treat hundreds of conditions. In particular, fish oil might be effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis, ADHD, osteoporosis, certain types of kidney disease, depression, bipolar disorder, painful menstrual periods, age-related macular degeneration, dyspraxia, endometrial cancer, psychosis, Raynaud’s syndrome, asthma, psoriasis, dry eye syndrome and developmental coordination disorder, according to MedlinePlus.
Some people taking fish oil supplements experience uncomfortable side effects, including burping, heart burn, bad breath, loose stools, rashes, nausea and nosebleeds. To minimize these symptoms, freeze your fish oil pills or take them along with meals. To prevent more dangerous side effects from fish oil, it’s important to limit your intake to 3 g per day or less. Too-high doses of fish oil can affect your immune system — making it more difficult for your body to fight infection — can reduce blood clotting and may raise your levels of bad LDL cholesterol.
If you’re interested in trying fish oil vitamins for better health or to treat a condition, speak with your doctor first. Fish oil supplements may interact with certain medications, including birth control pills and medications for high blood pressure, and can increase the symptoms of several health conditions. Your doctor can help you determine whether the benefits of fish oil outweigh the risks for you.