Fish Oil Supplements: Wonder Pill or Health Fad

So in the fitness community many things come and go as to what is fashionable.

So in the fitness community many things come and go as to what is fashionable. Tis even applies to supplements. One of the more popular supplements currently are marine oil supplements such as fish oil and krill oil. With an abundance of health benefits from improving your mental health to helping you drop a few pounds, they seem too good to be true. So let’s see what fish oil supplements are really all about.

What Are Fish Oil Supplements?

Essential fatty acids are long chain, polyunsaturated fatty acids that you body is incapable of producing and needs to obtain solely from dietary foods.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids are omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid) and omega 6 (linoleic acid). There is also the non essential omega-9.

Essential fatty acids have a number of roles within the body including:

  • Promotes healthy hair

  • Thyroid and adrenal gland activity

  • Brain development

  • The production of hormones

  • Breaking down cholesterol

  • Promoting healthy cell membrane formation

Although many people have heard about the importance of omega-3 and omega-6, most people aren’t aware how many problems being deficient in these essential fatty acids can cause.

Believe it or not, if you don’t get enough of these polyunsaturated fatty acids, it can lead to hair loss, impaired vision and even alter your mental state.

In fact, a lot of research is ongoing about the link between deficiency in omega-3s and mental health. One study found critically low levels in patients who had attempted suicide. It concluded that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation could be a possible step to take in the prevention of suicide.

Although both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are important, it is thought that most people are majorly deficient in omega-3s when it comes to our diets.

What Are in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

When you eat something containing omega-3 fatty acids, they are then broken down into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

Where Does Fish Oil Come From?

Gray Fishes on Yellow Crate

Fish oil is sourced from either deep water farmed or wild caught, cold water, oily fish. Most fish oil comes from sardines but can be salmon, herring, halibut, mackerel and albacore tuna.

What is Krill Oil?

A photo posted by Christine Khor (@christine.khor) on

Krill oil is similar to fish oil in the sense it is another form of omega-3 supplement. Krill are small crustaceans which look similar to shrimp. They live in oceans throughout the world, however, those harvested to make krill oil tend to be from the atlantic ocean.

Krill are predominantly a major food source for larger marine life such as some fish and bigger predators like whales.

Which is Better Krill Oil or Fish Oil

Both types of marine oil are pretty similar at face value in the fact both offer omega-3 fatty acids. However, for the most part, krill oil is the superior of the two.

First of all, krill are more sustainable and are harvested economically. International organisations regulate how many krill can be caught each year in order to ensure marine animals are left with enough to eat.  Also they are free from heavy metals like mercury as well as rich with antioxidants.

What Are The Benefits of Omega-3 Supplements?

Omega-3s are crucial for a number of bodily processes as we have established. They can do everything from help dry eyes and cataracts, to prevent heart disease.

There is numerous ongoing research about the benefits of omega-3 supplementation and how they can benefit diseases and conditions. Current research has found that getting enough omega-3s can be beneficial to the following:

  • ADHA

  • Cancer

  • Alzheimer’s disease

  • Dimentica

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Depression

Omega-3s and Body Fat

There is also a lot of research that suggests omega-3s both aid weight loss by helping you to:

  • Burn more fat

  • Suppress appetite

  • Minimise fat stores

How to Get More Omega-3s

 

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Of course, you can use supplements like fish oil in order to get the omega-3s you need. However, the best way to get enough omega-3s is through dietary forms.

You can get omega-3 from eating more oily fish (2-3 portions a week is recommended) including

  • Anchovies

  • Bluefish

  • Herring

  • Mackerel

  • Salmon (wild has more omega-3s than farmed)

  • Sardines

  • Sturgeon

  • Trout

  • Tuna

You can also get omega-3s from plant sources like walnuts and flaxseeds.

Sliced Tuna With Green Leaf Vegetables

So it is clear to see that for optimum health, getting your fish oil supplements daily is a must!