Fish Oil – What, How & Why?
Omega-3 fats found in fish & seafood, known as EPA & DHA, are essential fatty acids that we can only obtain from diet because our body is unable to synthesize them ourselves. EPA & DHA have been shown to be important in various critical health aspects such as brain development of young children, anti-inflammation & heart health. However, that doesn’t mean the more you take the better.
Rising scientific studies started when scientists found native tribes in the cold Artic region who ate a lot of fats had low risk of heart disease conditions. It was then found out that their diet had a good amount of omega-3 fats through fish & seafood. Bear in mind, they did not take fish oil capsule packaged in a bottle.
Proven benefits of omega-3 fish oil
- Reduced progression of heart blockage for individual with heart disease
- Reduced arrythmia (irregular heartbeat) for individual with heart disease
- Lower blood triglyceride (TG) level
Source: Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics Evidence Analysis Library (AND EAL)
Unsupported marketing claims
X Helps in weight loss
X Reduce risk of heart disease (but should be consumed as part of a heart-healthy diet)
Who can benefit from fish oil supplement?
- People with existing heart conditions such as coronary heart disease
- People with elevated blood TG level with medical supervision
- People who can’t afford to consistently consume omega-3 fats from whole fish/seafood (2 servings of fish per week)
So, is fish & fish oil supplement the same? Not really. In whole food like fish, there are other important & vital nutrients such as protein, vitamin D, zinc & micronutrients that promote a healthy heart for you. These can’t be found in sole fish oil supplement.
Disclaimer: The above statement should only serve as a general recommendation to mass public, but not to be interpreted or followed as strict guidance in your individual diet or supplementation decision. Always seek proper advice from your physician or healthcare professionals before commencing on any specific diet or supplementation regimen.