Fish Oil 101
By: Lauren Whitaker (ND Candidate 2016)
Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil) can be obtained by including fish in your diet or taking a supplement. Both EPA and DHA are types of Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. Supplementation often also contains vitamin E, A, C, D, B vitamins, calcium, or iron. The essential fatty acids found in fish oil function as energy sources, assist cellular membrane production (especially in the nervous system, our brains are roughly 10% DHA!), reduce pain and swelling, and prevent blood from clotting easily.
Here is a list of the fish with the highest omega-3 fatty acid content (These all provide about 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids per 3.5 ounces of fish):
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for proper brain and eye development in children. They are also used, in the form of fish oil, for support and treatment of many other conditions including:
- autoimmune (such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis)
- mental health (such as depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, autism spectrum, epilepsy)
- elevated triglycerides
- digestive conditions (such as inflammatory bowel disease)
- acute bronchitis
- painful periods.
It is always important that you speak to your doctor before adding on any supplementation or medication to know if it is right for you and what dosage is appropriate!