Fish oils are a great source of essential fatty acids, specifically the Omega-3 fatty acids known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and αlpha-linoliec acid (ALA). These fats have a variety of important jobs in our bodies, including proper cardiovascular function, brain development and nervous system function, maintaining cell health, and supporting your immune system.
Our bodies cannot create their own omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish are some of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, but the typical diet doesn’t include fatty fish on a daily basis. It would take about 3.5 oz of fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel to satisfy your daily recommended intake of about 1 gram of omega-3s. This is why fish oils are a great solution to meet your body’s needs for these essential fats.
Supplementation is a slippery slope, and education is key. It is important to seek out the highest quality fish oil supplement; the manufacturing process, quality and content of the product varies. The cheap ones may use farm-raised fish fed a non-marine diet, and may contain more omega-6 fatty acids, pollutants, and contaminants. Never exceed the recommended does of any supplement, and do research on the potential side effects before running to the store.
Kollias, Helen. "Fish Oil and Omega-3s Fats: How to Be Safer with Your Supplements. - Precision Nutrition." Precision Nutrition. Precision Nutrition, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
Peskin, B. S. "Why Fish Oil Fails: A Comprehensive 21st Century Lipids-Based Physiologic Analysis." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 16 Jan. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
WebMD. "Fish Oil: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, and Warnings." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.