Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Do I really need to take fish oil supplements?

Being young, I thought that taking vitamins and supplements were just for people my parents' age. However, in graduate school, I'm learning more about clinical trials and came across several studies that showed the majority of individuals that had fish oil in their diets had statistically significant health benefits compared to ones that didn't have fish oil.

Health benefits of fish oil (reduces risk of):
- heart disease
- age related eye disease 
- stroke
- menstrual pain
- lowers blood pressure
- cognitive (brain/mind) problems 
- and much more

So... do you need to take fish oil supplements? 
The answer depends. If you regularly eat foods high in omega-3 oils such as wild salmon, sardines, walnuts, pecans and more then NO, you don't need fish oil supplements. But if you're like me, and don't have the time or money to buy and prepare fish, then YES, taking fish oil pills can be a good solution.

Fish oil pills are relatively inexpensive (I get mine from Costco). Make sure the pills you buy contain EPA and/or DHA not ALA (shown to not have the same benefits of DHA or EPA). As with any supplements, read up on the side effects before taking it.

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