Supplements Your Health & Wellness

Are fish oil supplements just another red herring?

Written by Diane Archer

If you’re hoping to help your heart by consuming fish oil supplements, you might want to stop hoping and switch to eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. But, you should do so in moderation. What we know for sure about fish oil supplements is that there appears to be precious little evidence of their benefits to individuals, according to the latest research out of the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Researchers analyzed the results of 18 randomized clinical trials between 2005 and 2012 and found essentially no basis for recommending people take fish oil supplements.

So, instead of taking fish oil supplements, eat mackerel, herring, tuna, halibut and salmon, which all provide omega-3 fatty acids, otherwise known as fish oil.  There is some evidence that you might benefit from eating them, so long as the fish is not fried. Eating broiled or baked fish could reduce your risk of heart disease. However, there is not enough evidence to show that your heart will benefit.

And, beware, if you eat fried fish, you likely increase your risk of heart disease.You should beware that eating fish may increase your exposure to methylmercury. Swordfish, king mackerel, shark, or tilefish have high levels of methylmercury. Higher mercury consumption is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease; however results are mixed. As always, the key is moderation and a balanced diet.

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2 Comments

  • I have been taking Krill gelkaps for about 4 years. I find that swelling is MUCH less of a problem from evidence of a few moles
    and other internal conditions where I might use aspirin or Ibuprofen.
    I had a stent installed in my right Circumflex artery in Feb 2013. My
    recovery has been smooth and consistent. This is NOT scientific
    nor to I present it as such. It is personal experience. I have offered
    it to a friend who runs and she is running pain free and swelling is
    reduced by her knowledge of her running experience. I ask anybody
    about allergies to shrimp or other seafoods before I even tell about
    Krill.

  • I was diagnosed with very early dry macular degeneration last summer. The doctor’s recommendation was to start taking omega-3 supplements. Any thoughts on this? Such contradictory reports are confusing, for sure.

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