All About Fish Oil: Benefits, Dose & Side Effects

Fish Oil

There are many types of fish that contain fish oil. Fish oil contains two important omega-3 fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Fish oil is believed to have health benefits because it contains omega-3 fatty acids. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids include mackerel, herring, tuna, and salmon. The body does not produce many of these oils on its own. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, swelling, and blood clotting.

The FDA approves some fish oil products for use as prescription medications for lowering triglycerides. In addition to fish oil supplements, prescription fish oil products do not contain the same amount of fish oil as supplements, so they cannot be substituted for prescription fish oil supplements. The use of fish oil supplements for heart health and mental health has not been well researched.

There is a difference between fish oil and EPA, DHA, cod liver oil, flaxseed oil, and krill oil. See those listings separately.

How it work ?

What are its uses and effectiveness?

It is effective for:-

  • Blood levels of fats called triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia) are high. Fish oil prescription medications such as Lovaza, Omtryg, and Epanova reduce very high levels of triglycerides. Typically, they are taken at a dose of 4 grams daily. Some non-prescription fish oil supplements may also be helpful, but they contain far fewer omega-3 fatty acids than prescription fish oil supplements. A person should have to take 12 capsules of fish oil supplements daily in order to achieve the same results as prescription fish oil.

Possibly Effective for

  • Angioplasty is a procedure to open a blocked or narrowed blood vessel. Fish oil taken for at least 3 weeks before and for at least one month after surgery reduces the risk of blood vessel reblockage by up to 45%.
  • Some cancer patients seem to lose weight more slowly when they take a high dose of fish oil by mouth. Low doses of fish oil do not seem to have this effect.
  • Fish oil appears to prevent kidney damage in people taking cyclosporine. It also appears to improve kidney function in people who have recently rejected a transplanted kidney and are taking cyclosporine.
  • Fish oil can improve painful periods and reduce the need for pain medications for menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea).
  • A gastrointestinal infection can cause nausea and vomiting. Taking fish oil during pregnancy seems to reduce the risk of an infection of the intestines causing nausea and vomiting in the child.
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  • Those who consume more fish oil from food have a lower risk of heart failure. Eating 2 to 3 servings of non-fried fish per week is recommended. The effects of fish oil supplements on heart failure are not yet known. People who already have heart failure might be able to reduce their risk of death or hospitalization by taking fish oil supplements by mouth.
  • Blood fat levels are abnormal in people with HIV/AIDS. Fish oil supplements reduce triglycerides in people with abnormal cholesterol levels caused by HIV/AIDS treatment.
  • People with moderate to very high blood pressure may benefit from fish oil by taking it by mouth. It is not known if people with slightly high blood pressure or those taking blood pressure medications may benefit from fish oil by mouth.
  • Fish oil can slow the loss of kidney function in high-risk patients with IgA nephropathy when taken for 2-4 years. It’s not clear whether it works when taken short-term or in low-risk patients.
  • In people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), fish oil might reduce liver fat and improve liver health.
  • A person with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may be able to improve their symptoms by taking fish oil, either alone or combined with naproxen. Fish oil administered via IV reduces swelling and tenderness in joints, but is only available from a healthcare provider. Fish oil does not seem to prevent RA, however.

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that can cause vision loss in older adults. People who eat fish more than once a week have a lower risk of developing age-related vision loss. It is not possible to prevent or slow down vision loss by taking fish oil by mouth for up to six years.
  • In people with chest pain (angina), taking fish oil supplements by mouth does not reduce the risk of death or improve heart health.
  • The progression of atherosclerosis is not slowed by taking fish oil by mouth.
  • Children who eat fish at least once a week from the age of 1-2 years have a lower risk for developing eczema than those who take fish oil supplements.
  • Taking fish oil supplements can increase the risk of irregular heartbeats. Eating fatty fish or taking fish oil supplements by mouth does not reduce the risk of irregular heartbeats.
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  • Fish oil does not improve symptoms of depression or mania in people with bipolar disorder when taken with conventional treatments.
  • In premature infants, fish oil doesn’t seem to reduce the risk of developing bronchopulmonary dysplasia (a lung disease that affects newborns).
  • It is possible to reduce the risk of cerebrovascular disease by eating fish, but taking fish oil supplements by mouth does not.
  • Fish oil supplements do not improve mental function in older adults, young adults, or children.
  • When compared with standard medications, fish oil supplements do not seem to improve H. pylori infections (Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori).
  • After a kidney transplant, fish oil does not appear to help people live longer. It also does not seem to prevent the body from rejecting the transplant.
  • Fish oil does not seem to reduce long-term breast pain (mastalgia).
  • Fish oil does not seem to improve symptoms in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Likely InEffective for

  • Taking fish oil by mouth does not reduce blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It does not reduce the risk of certain complications of diabetes, such as heart attack and stroke. In diabetics, fish oil may reduce blood fats called triglycerides.

There is a lot of Benefits of Fish oil ( ) for a variety of other purposes, but there isn’t enough reliable information to say whether it will be beneficial.

What are the side effects?

  1. In most people, fish oil can be taken in doses of three grams or less daily when taken by mouth. If you take more than three grams of fish oil daily, you might experience bleeding. Fish oil side effects include heartburn, loose stools, and nosebleeds. These side effects can be reduced by combining fish oil supplements with meals or freezing them.

  2. It may be unsafe to consume high amounts of fish oil from dietary sources. Some fish may contain mercury and other chemicals that fish oil supplements do not.

  3. The safety and side effects of fish oil when applied to the skin are not well known.

Warnings and Precautions

  • In pregnancy and breast-feeding, fish oil supplements are likely safe. They don’t seem to affect the fetus or baby when breast-feeding. It is advised that pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, and breast-feeding women avoid sharks, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, since they contain high levels of mercury and may contain other toxins. Eat no more than 12 ounces of other fish per week (about 3 to 4 servings per week). High amounts of fatty fish consumption may be harmful.
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  • The use of fish oil supplements in children may be safe. A dose of 2.2 grams of fish oil per day for 12 weeks has been used successfully for adolescents. It is potentially unsafe to consume fish oil from DIETARY sources in large amounts. Fatty fish contain toxins, such as mercury. Children should not eat more than two ounces of fish per week. Consuming fish contaminated with mercury can lead to serious health complications.
  • Fish oil might increase some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
  • Fish oil might increase bleeding risk in people with liver scarring caused by liver disease.
  • High doses of fish oil may make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels if you have diabetes.
  • People with familial adenomatous polyposis may be more likely to develop cancer if they consume fish oil.
  • In certain situations, such as HIV/AIDS, higher doses of fish oil can lower the body’s immune response. This could be a problem for people whose immune systems are already weak.
  • Fish oil might increase the risk of irregular heartbeat in patients who have an implanted defibrillator. Avoid fish oil supplements to be on the safe side.
  • If someone is allergic to fish or seafood, they may also be allergic to fish oil supplements. There is no reliable information showing how likely people with seafood allergies will be to react to fish oil. Patients allergic to seafood should avoid or use fish oil supplements cautiously until more information is known.

Best dose of Fish Oil

A typical dosage of Fish Oil supplements( ) for adults is 180-465 mg of EPA and 120-375 mg of DHA per capsule, with doses of up to 6 grams daily for up to 12 weeks. Prescription fish oil medications include Lovaza, Omtryg, and Epanova. Fish oil supplements cannot replace fish oil prescription drugs. To find out which product and dose is right for a specific condition, speak with your healthcare provider.


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