The topic of the day is fish oils and how they are beneficial to your body. You may have heard your doctor, physical therapist, or even the really fit aerobic queen living on your block talk about the benefits of fish oils.
Since this is a blog, there are many chances for me to talk negatively about a type of treatment, course of supplements or even complain about what is going into our dietary products. But fish oils is one supplement that is hard to badmouth.
Like vitamin C, there hasn’t been any reported cases of overdosing, or side effects. For example a person must take an inordinate amount of vitamin C in order to get to a level that becomes toxic (i.e. present the body with negative side effects). The toxic side effects of you eating too much oranges is you may experience diarrhea. However the negatives of not getting enough vitamin C is well documented as scurvy, and involves bleeding of the gums because the vitamin C is important in keeping the blood at the right viscosity. So in short, there isn’t a ceiling amount of vitamin that must be respected, unlike vitamins like A, in which having too much can lead to toxicity.
What this all boils down to is that though there may be many differing fish oil supplements, the generalization that fish oils are good for you cannot be denied scientifically. The only possible negative aspect is if you think that high mercury toxicity may be a factor, and that is a debatable issue.
Fish oils contain omega-3-fatty acids which help to keep the inflammation of the body down. This means that anyone who is injured, recovering from an operation, has joint pain, or is a living breathing individual who doesn’t eat fish daily, can probably reap great benefits from fish oils.
Supplements are great ways for people to get their doses without having to eat fish, but my experience tells me that is better to get your fish oils the way the body intended, by eating them. Salmon is very high in omega-3’s but so is mackerel, yellowtail (my favorite), and raw shellfish.
So what are the benefits? Less pain of chronic injuries, slimmer waist (yes, eating more fish oils can slim you down), healthier skin (vit E is oil based and you can get a lot from fish oils), and healthier less painful joints. For systemic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol fish oils is going to be a requirement for these patients in the future.
If you eat enough fish you may get a necessary amount, but you can always increase the amount of fish oils you get if you become injured, and like I said, there aren’t any negative side effects.