Fish oil can be obtained from eating fish or by taking supplements. Fish that are especially rich in the beneficial oils known as omega-3 fatty acids include mackerel, tuna, salmon, sturgeon, mullet, bluefish, anchovy, sardines, herring, trout, and menhaden. Two of the most important omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Fish oil is used for a wide range of conditions, most often used for conditions related to the heart and blood system. Some people use fish oil to lower blood pressure or preventing heart disease or stroke. The scientific evidence suggests that fish oil really does lower high triglycerides, and it also seems to help prevent heart disease and stroke when taken in the recommended amounts. Ironically, taking too much fish oil can actually increase the risk of stroke.
Fish may have earned its reputation as “brain food” because some people eat fish to help with depression, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Alzheimer’s disease, and other thinking disorders.
Some people use fish oil for dry eyes, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a very common condition in older people. It’s well known anti-inflammatory properties are useful in menstrual issues, chronic pain and immune conditions.
When fish oil is obtained by eating fish, the way the fish is prepared seems to make a difference. Eating grilled or baked fish appears to reduce the risk of heart disease, but eating fried fish or fish sandwiches not only cancels out the benefits of fish oil, but may actually increase heart disease risk.
One serving of oily fish per week is the current recommendation in the UK.