Fish Oils: Health Benefits And The Facts – Part 2

Fish oils come from fatty or oily fish. These fish oils are found in the tissue of fish such as trout, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines, and salmon.

Oily fish can contain up to 30 percent oil.  White fish contains high levels of oil in the liver, and have much less oil overall.

Oily fish are good sources of vitamins A and D, along with Omega 3s. Whitefish also does contain these nutrients but at much lower concentrations.

Health experts have often told people that oily fish have greater health benefits than less oily white fish. Some researchers say that is not necessarily the case.

Many health authorities around the globe have recommended that people should consume either plenty of oily fish or to take a fish oil supplement, because of the health benefits associated with fish oil. Some studies in recent years though have produced mixed results about the dietary intake of fish oil

Fish oils and Cod liver oil are often confused – they are different. Fish oils are taken from the tissue of deep sea oily fish such as salmon, tuna or mackerel. Cod liver oil is extracted solely from the livers of cod fish.

Read Part 1 of this blog

Do fish oil supplements offer heart benefits?  Does omega-3 benefit heart health?

Many people believe that a high consumption of omega-3 oils can benefit the heart. However, studies have produced mixed results.

Heart benefits discovered in a 2011 study, carried out by researchers at Michigan Technological University, found that fish oil consumption can improve blood flow by reducing triglyceride levels, as well as slowing down the growth rate of atherosclerotic plaques.

Fish oils help patients with stents in their arteries – people with stents in their heart who took two blood-thinning drugs, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, were found to have a lower risk of heart attack compared with those not on fish oils.

Researchers from one United States University set out to determine why the incidence of heart disease in Japan is much lower than in America, Canada, Western Europe, and Australia.

They reported that omega-3-rich fish consumption in Japan is much higher than in other developed nations. The authors believe that this is the main contributor to its relatively low rate of heart disease.

The scientists explained that the difference cannot be explained by genetic factors. Third and fourth generation Japanese-Americans have either the same or higher rates of hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) than the rest of the American population.

Researchers have concluded that Americans and Canadians eat far too much meat and not enough fish. They also suggested that the North American lifestyle means people are not getting adequate amounts of dietary omega-3 fatty acids. They emphasized the fact that pregnant and breastfeeding women in particular need to ensure that they consume plenty of omega-3 oils.

Top 7 things to know about Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential for many functions in the body. The primary omega-3 fatty acids are EPA, eicosapentaenoic acid, and DHA, docosahexaenoic acid is what is found in seafood, such as fatty fish (e.g., salmon, tuna, and trout) and shellfish (e.g., crab, mussels, and oysters). There is another kind of omega-3, called ALA, αlpha-linolenic acids found in other foods, including some vegetable oils like canola and soy. Omega-3s are also available as dietary supplements; for example, fish oil supplements contain EPA and DHA, and flaxseed oil supplements contain ALA. Many scientists have emerged about the significant health benefits of consuming seafood and even more health benefits of omega-3 dietary supplements in your diet.

Here are seven important things you should know about Omega-3s:

  1. The product of the research on diets rich in seafood like fish and shellfish and heart disease provide reasonable evidence that people who eat seafood at least once a week is less likely to die of heart disease than those who never eat seafood or rarely have it in their diet. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 (3MB PDF) includes a new recommendation that adults should eat 8 or more ounces of a variety of seafood per week because it will provide a range of nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids. Smaller amounts are recommended for young children, and there are personalized recommendations for breastfeeding or pregnant women. See Tip number 4.
  2. Evidence suggests that seafood rich in EPA, Eicosapentaenoic acid, and DHA, the Docosahexaenoic acid should be included in a heart-healthy diet. However, supplements of EPA and DHA have shown very little to protect against heart disease. In 2012, two groups of scientists analyzed the research on the effects of EPA/DHA supplements on heart disease risk. One group analyzed only studies in people with a history of heart disease, and the other group analyzed studies in people both with and without a history of heart disease. Both reviews found decent evidence of a protective effect of the supplements and the heart.
  3. In 2012 review of the scientific literature concluded that the acids EPA and DHA, the types of omega-3s found in seafood, fish oil, and specific supplements might be modestly helpful for relieving symptoms of RA, rheumatoid arthritis. In the studies included in the review, many of the participants reported that when they were taking fish oil, they had less morning stiffness, less joint swelling and pain, and a fewer need for anti-inflammatory drugs to control their symptoms.
  4. The nutritional value of seafood specifically omega-3 acids is of particular importance during fetal growth and development, as well as in newborns and early childhood. Women who are pregnant and breastfeeding should consume 8 to 12 ounces of seafood per week from a variety of seafood types and omega-3 supplements that are low in methylmercury as part of a healthy eating pattern and while staying within reasonable calorie needs. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should try to stay away from large amounts of white tuna, labeled as “albacore” and limit the amount to no more than 6 ounces per week. They should not eat tilefish, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel because they are high in methyl mercury. It is best and safest to regulate supplements because you know exactly what your getting and the measured out dose recommended for you.
  5. There is continuous research on omega-3 fatty acids and diseases of the brain and eye, but they still need more evidence to be able to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of omega-3supplements for these conditions. DHA, Docosahexaenoic acid plays important roles in the functioning of the brain and the eye. Researchers are still actively investigating the possible benefits of DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids in preventing or treating a variety of brain- and eye-related conditions.
  6. There is conflicting evidence about whether a link might exist between the omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood and fish oil, such as EPA and DHA and an increased risk of prostate cancer. Additional research on the association between omega-3 consumption and prostate cancer risk is under way. Immunotherapy, or utilization of the immune system to repair, enhance, or stimulate the body’s natural immune responses to fight cancer, is a rapidly growing field of research. In addressing the challenge of prostate cancer, scientists have created or are developing various immunotherapeutic approaches such as Provenge, checkpoint therapies. However, natural substances also may have potential, including omega-3 fatty acids.
  7. The bottom line: Including seafood in your diet is healthy and beneficial. Omega-3 supplements are helpful in many different ways. If you are considering omega-3 supplements, talk to your health care provider. It’s especially important to consult your or your child’s health care provider if you are pregnant and breastfeeding and if you take medicine that affects blood clotting. If you are allergic to seafood, or if you are considering giving a child an omega-3 supplement which is allergic may be helpful to ask a doctor.

All in all the food source of omega-3, which is fish and other seafood, is not typically a 100% safe option. The vast majority of our fish supply is very heavily contaminated with many different pollutants and toxins like mercury, PCBs, heavy metals and radioactive poisons that should be replaced by supplements that are tested and correctly measured. Another reason why a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat supplement is important is that many people, including pregnant women, do not get enough of these vital fatty acids.

Fish Oils: Health Benefits And The Facts – Part 1

Fish oils come from fatty or oily fish. These fish oils are found in the tissue of fish such as trout, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines, and salmon.

Oily fish can contain up to 30 percent oil.  White fish contains high levels of oil in the liver, and have much less oil overall.

Oily fish are good sources of vitamins A and D, along with Omega 3s. Whitefish also does contain these nutrients but at much lower concentrations.

Health experts have often told people that oily fish have greater health benefits than less oily white fish. Some researchers say that is not necessarily the case.

Many health authorities around the globe have recommended that people should consume either plenty of oily fish or to take a fish oil supplement, because of the health benefits associated with fish oil. Some studies in recent years though have produced mixed results about the dietary intake of fish oil

Fish oils and Cod liver oil are often confused – they are different. Fish oils are taken from the tissue of deep sea oily fish such as salmon, tuna or mackerel. Cod liver oil is extracted solely from the livers of cod fish.

What are omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fat mostly found in plant and marine life. There are two different types that are found to be plentiful in fatty fish

EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)

EPA helps with blood clotting and inflammation. EPA is not produced by fish, but rather it is a byproduct of the algae they eat.

DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is a big component of the human retina, sperm, and cerebral cortex (in the brain).

Forty percent of all the polyunsaturated fatty acids in the brain consist of DHA. DHA also makes roughly 60 percent of the polyunsaturated fatty acids in the retina. Also, breast milk is rich in DHA.

Possible health benefits of fish oils

While some research has shown that fish oils are not that beneficial to our health, other research has found fish oil to benefit with the following.

1) Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Fish oils have been said to benefit people with MS, though a study done in Norway years ago seems to find this inconclusive.

2) Prostate cancer

Studies have found that a moderate amount of fish oil consumed along with a low-fat diet, can reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

3) Post-natal (post-partum) depression

Fish oil taken during pregnancy may help mothers from suffering post-partum depression. DHA consumption during pregnancy at reasonable levels that is ingested through food intake has the potential to decrease symptoms of postpartum depression.

4) ADHD Benefits

Studies have concluded that children who consume moderate amounts of EPA and DHA, as reported by their doctors and parents, have experienced a reduction in the symptoms of ADHD.

5) Memory Benefits

Studies have found that taking Omega-3 fatty acid intake can help improve the memory in healthy young adults.

However, older adults, especially women with cognitive decline experienced no benefit taking Omega – fatty acids.

6) Heart Benefits

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils may protect the heart from mental stress.

A study published in the American Journal of Physiology revealed that people who took fish oil supplements for longer than 1 month had improved cardiovascular function during mentally stressful tests.

7) Protection from Alzheimer’s disease

Claims have been made for years that consistent fish oil consumption would help prevent people from developing Alzheimer’s disease. However, some specific studies have shown this not to be the case.

Although a major study published in Neurology in 2007 reported that a diet high in fish, omega-3 oils, fruit, and vegetables reduced dementia and Alzheimer’s risk.

8) Protection from Vision Loss

Moderate dietary consumption of DHA protects people from age-related vision loss. Researchers have reported this finding in the journal of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

9) Epilepsy

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry proclaims that epilepsy patients could reduce the frequency of seizures by taking low doses of omega-3 fish oil every day.

The research team at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, says their findings may be particularly useful to epilepsy patients who no longer respond to medication.

10) Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders

In what was believed to be the first study of its kind, researchers revealed the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may be effective for reducing the risk of psychosis.

The study, published in Nature Communications, details how a 12-week intervention with omega-3 supplements substantially reduced the long-term risk of developing psychotic disorders.

11) Benefits for the fetus

Omega-3 consumption may help boost fetal cognitive and motor development.

In a study from 2008, scientists found that omega-3 consumption by the pregnant mother during the last 3 months of pregnancy improved the baby’s sensory, cognitive, and motor development.

Read Part 2 of this Post

Omega-3 11 different acids

Omega-3’s are an essential fatty acid that has numerous benefits for health.  But not all omega-3 fatty acids are equal. There are 11 different types believe it or not; but the three most important ones are ALA, EPA, and DHA.  ALA is mostly found in plant foods, while EPA and DHA are most commonly found in animal foods like fatty fish.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are similar to all fatty acids, omega-3s are chains of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms together.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a polyunsaturated fat, which means they have two or more double bonds in their chemical structure (poly = many).  Just like the omega-6s, omega-3 fatty acids cannot be made by the body, and we must get them from the diet. This is why they are deemed an essential fatty acid.

Omega-3 fatty acids are not directly stored and used for energy. They have significant roles in all sorts of bodily processes, including inflammation, heart health, and brain function.

Being deficient in omega-3s is directly associated with lower intelligence, depression, heart disease, arthritis, cancer and many other health problems.


Overview of Omega 3’s

Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fats that we must get for our diet through many different ways. They have too many benefits for your health to look the other way.


The following is a list of the Omega-3 fatty acids

1. ALA Alpha-Linolenic Acid

ALA is the acronym for alpha-linolenic acid. This is the most common omega-3 acid in our diet.  What the chemical makes up is 18 carbons long, with three double bonds.  ALA is mostly found in plant foods, and while it is in your diet, it needs to be converted into the EPA or DHA before the human body can completely utilize it.  This conversion process is very inefficient in humans. This is because only a small percentage of ALA is converted into EPA, and even less into DHA.  When ALA is not broken down and converted to EPA or DHA, it remains just stored or is used as energy, like other fats.  Some studies have found a direct correlation between a diet rich in ALA and a reduced risk of heart disease deaths, while other studies have found an increased risk of prostate cancer.  This increase in the risk of prostate cancer was not associated with the other main omega-3 fatty acids, in fact, the EPA and DHA fatty acids had a protective effect against this disease.  ALA is found in many different plant foods, such as kale, spinach, purslane, soybeans, walnuts and many other kinds of seeds like chia, flax and hemp seeds. ALA is also found in some animal fats.  Some seed oils like flaxseed oil and canola oil are also very high in ALA.

Overview: ALA is the acronym alpha-linolenic acid. It is mostly found in plant foods and needs to be converted into EPA or DHA to become active in the human body.


2. EPA Eicosapentaenoic Acid

EPA is the acronym for eicosapentaenoic acid. It is 20 carbons long, with five double bonds.  Its primary function is to form molecules called eicosanoids that are used as signals throughout the body, which play numerous roles within the brain. Eicosanoids from omega-3s are used to reduce inflammation, while fatty acids made from omega-6s tend to increase inflammation.  A diet high in EPA can reduce most inflammation in the body. Continuous low-level inflammation is known to drive several common diseases.  There have been many studies that have shown that fish oil, high in EPA and DHA, may reduce symptoms of depression. There is also some evidence that EPA is better than DHA in this regard.  Another study found that EPA reduced the number of hot flashes experienced by menopausal women.

DHA and EPA are mostly found in seafood, which includes fatty fish and algae. For this reason, they are often called marine omega-3s.  EPA concentrations are highest in herring, salmon, eel, shrimp, and sturgeon. Grass-fed animal products, such as dairy and meats, also contain some EPA.

Overview:  EPA is the acronym for eicosapentaenoic acid. It is an omega-3 fatty acid that can reduce symptoms of depression and help fight inflammation in the body.


3. DHA Docosahexaenoic Acid

DHA is the acronym for docosahexaenoic acid. It is 22 carbons long, with six double bonds.  DHA is an essential structural component of skin and the retina in the eye.  Fortifying baby formula with DHA leads to improved vision in infants.  DHA is vital for brain development and function in childhood, as well as brain function in adults.  Childhood DHA deficiency is associated with problems later on, such as learning disabilities, ADHD, aggressive hostility, and several other disorders.  Low levels of DHA during aging is also associated with impaired brain function and acquiring Alzheimer’s disease.  DHA is also known to have positive effects on diseases such as arthritis, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.  DHA can reduce blood triglycerides, and may lead to fewer harmful LDL particles.  DHA also causes the breakup of so-called lipid rafts in membranes, making it more difficult for cancer cells to survive and for inflammation to occur.

As previously stated, DHA is found in high amounts in seafood, including fatty fish and algae. Grass-fed animal products also contain some DHA.

Overview of DHA is short for docosahexaenoic acid. It is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid that is imperative for brain development. It may also help protect against heart disease, cancer, and other health problems.
Conversion Process: From ALA to EPA to DHA

ALA, the most common of the omega-3 fats, needs to be converted into EPA or DHA for the body to use it in a nutritional way.On average, only 1–10% is converted into EPA and 0.5–5% is converted into DHA.  The conversion is dependent on an adequate level of other nutrients, such as vitamins B6 and B7, copper, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. Many of these are lacking in the modern diet, especially among vegetarians.  The low conversion rate is also because omega-6 fatty acids compete for the same enzymes needed for the conversion process. So the high amount of omega-6 in the modern diet can reduce the conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA.

Overview: ALA is not biologically active in the body. It needs to be converted into EPA and DHA to become active, but this conversion process is inefficient in humans.

ALA, EPA, and DHA are the most abundant omega-3 fatty acids in the diet.

However, eight other omega-3 fatty acids have been discovered:

  • HTA Hexadecatrienoic acid.
  • SDA Stearidonic acid.
  • ETE Eicosatrienoic acid.
  • ETA Eicosatetraenoic acid.
  • HPA Heneicosapentaenoic acid.
  • DPA Docosapentaenoic acid.
  • Tetracosapentaenoic acid.
  • Tetracosahexaenoic acid.

These fatty acids are found in some foods but are not considered essential. However, some of them do have positive biological effects.

Omega-3 Deficiency Side effects

Overview of Fish Oil and Omega 3’s

Fish oil comes from the tissue of very oily fish. The best sources of this are cold-water, fatty fish. When it comes to human consumption of fish oil, you can consume these benefits straight from the fish themselves or a fish oil supplement, which is highly recommended.

Fish oil is a very concentrated source of omega-3 fats, which is also called ω-3 fatty acids or n-3 fatty acids. To be more scientific, omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs. Our bodies can make most of the fats that we need, but not for omega-3 fatty acids. When it comes to these essential fats, we need to get them from omega-3 foods or supplements.

Fish oil contains two essential omega-3 PUFAs. I’m talking about DHA, docosahexaenoic acid, and EPA, eicosapentaenoic acid. DHA and EPA are sometimes known as the marine omega-3s because these fatty acids mainly come from fish. Some of the best fish you can eat to obtain fish oil in your diet includes wild-caught salmon, herring, whitefish, sardines, and anchovies. But the most efficient and safe way is through a scientifically made supplement that is tested for human bodies.


Deficiency side effects

Many Americans’ health problems can be traced back to having a huge imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Omega-6 fats aren’t necessarily bad for the body, but if they are consumed in large amounts without omega-3s, they can cause inflammation, which leads to chronic illness.

Today, the average American has a 20:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, when a healthy rate is more ideally around 2:1. When putting it in easier mathematical terms, the typical American diet tends to have about 14 to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. This shows just how deficient most humans are and why supplementing with fish oil is so beneficial your body.

One of the biggest causes of omega-3 deficiency is the overconsumption of omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 comes from fried foods, fast foods, and boxed foods that contain vegetable oils like soybean oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil and corn oil. By consuming too much omega-6, you can decrease your body’s ability to metabolize healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which decreases the ability for your body to receive the proper nutrition.

Research has shown that having a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. Getting enough omega-3, which means having a proper balance of omega-3 and omega-6, has been shown in hundreds of studies to provide benefits to many inflammatory diseases, including:

  • Asthma
  • ADHD
  • Arthritis
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Heart disease

It’s important to know that even though certain foods like flaxseeds and grass-fed beef have omega-3 fatty acids, they are not EPA, eicosapentaenoic acid, and DHA, docosahexaenoic acid, which is found in fish oil, it is ALA, alpha-linolenic acid. According to the medical research, there are far more health benefits in fish oil EPA and DHA than ALA, like flaxseed oil for most people.

It’s also important to note that omega-6 fatty acids are not bad for you. If your diet contains too many omega-3 fatty acids, your immune system won’t work very well. It’s all about the balance of these two essential fatty acids.


How to Take Fish Oil Supplements

People seem to think the best way to achieve a correct balance of omega-3 and omega-6 is by getting your fish oil from wild-caught fish like salmon. However, I believe it is most beneficial for people to supplement with a high-quality omega-3 fish oil or cold liver oil. Plus, cold water fish are frequently contaminated with mercury and pesticide residues, making it tough to achieve recommended levels safely.

So by supplementing your diet with pure anti-oxidant rich fish oils, you can find the best ways to get your essential omega 3s. The types of fish which are most commonly used in fish oil supplements are salmon, cod liver, mackerel, sardines, halibut, pollock, and herring.

Fish oil supplement capsule currently does not have a standard set of recommendation for how many omega-3s we need each day, but suggestions range from a fish oil dosage of 500 to 1,000 milligrams per day depending on what doctor or scientist you ask. How easy is it to get these recommended amounts? To give you an idea of how much is each serving, one can of tuna fish or one small serving of wild-caught salmon has well over 500 milligrams of total omega-3s.

When taking fish oil, more is not always better. Remember that you want to stay very balanced between the omega-6 fatty acids and the Omega-3 fatty acids. For most people, I recommend a 1,000-milligram dose of fish oil per day as the right amount and the most scientifically studied dosage. I also highly recommend not taking more than that unless you are directed to under the supervision of a doctor.

A good tip is not all fish oils are created equal. For example, most fish oils are highly processed and can oxidize quickly due to the omega-3 fats being polyunsaturated, and have a low heat threshold which can easily go rancid. For this reason, you usually want to buy a fish oil in a triglyceride form that also contains antioxidants to preserve them like astaxanthin or essential oils.

To improve the health of your heart, brain, skin, hair, body and much more, consider adding a fish oil to your daily supplement regime. If you don’t like smelly fish oil pills, make sure to get a different supplement that will fulfill your omega-3 needs and provide your body with fish oil benefits. The American Heart Association also highly recommend getting these essential Omega-3 fatty acids in your body

The Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fish Oil

The Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fish Oil

We’ve all heard of the benefits of Omega-3 Fish Oil. Here are some of the problems that this amazing product may help remedy:

High Cholesterol

Omega-3 fatty acids which have very high HDL levels, transport all fat molecules around the body which help promote good heart health. People who typically eat fatty fish, also tend to have increased HDL cholesterol and decreased triglycerides which are fats in the blood.

High Blood Pressure

People with hypertension or high blood pressure use omega-3  to lower their blood pressure. An analysis of daily fish oil usage may reduce blood pressure in individuals with untreated hypertension.

Heart Disease

EPA, eicosapentaenoic acid, and DHA, docosahexaenoic acid, the two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil reduce the risk of heart disease, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Fish oil is known to lower levels of triglycerides (fats in the blood), and to lower the risk heart attack, stroke, and abnormal heart rhythms in people who have already had heart diseases. Omega – also appears to help prevent and treat atherosclerosis by slowing the development of plaque and blood clots, which can clog arteries.


Diabetes is known to have high triglyceride and low HDL levels. Omega-3 fatty acids help lower triglycerides and apoproteins (markers of diabetes), as well as raise HDL.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints. Studies have found that omega-3 fish oils help eliminate symptoms of RA, including joint pain, morning stiffness, increase grip strength, and improve walking pace. A study on people with RA who take fish oil may be able to lower their dose of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which creates fewer payments.

The results suggest that omega-3 fatty acids, along with conventional therapies, such as NSAIDs, may help relieve joint pain associated with these conditions.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: SLE

An autoimmune condition characterized by fatigue and joint pain may help reduce symptoms of lupus.


Omega-3 eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid are the main acids that decrease inflammation, and by decreasing the inflammation in the body puts less stress on bones to break down and become brittle


Researchers have found that people who took omega-3 fatty acids with their regular prescription antidepressants had a greater improvement in symptoms than those who took antidepressants alone. Also, studies show that omega-3 fatty acid intake helps protect against postpartum depression, among other benefits.

Bipolar Disorder

People with bipolar disorder who took omega-3 fish oil in addition to standard prescription treatments for bipolar disorder for four months experienced fewer mood swings and relapses than those who received a placebo pill.


Scientific evidence suggests that people with schizophrenia who take omega-3 fatty acids experience an improvement in symptoms. The most recent research found that EPA supplements were better than a placebo pill in improving symptoms of this condition.

Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder: ADHD

Children with ADHD have lower levels of essential fatty acids such as EPA and DHA. In a study of boys, those with lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids had more learning and behavioral problems such as temper tantrums and sleep disturbances than boys with normal omega-3 fatty acid levels.

Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids help improve behavioral symptoms, and eating foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids is a reasonable approach for someone with ADHD.

Cognitive Decline

Scientists believe the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is protective against Alzheimer disease and dementia.

Many studies show that reduced intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with increased risk of age-related cognitive decline or dementia, including Alzheimer disease.

Skin Disorders

In one clinical study, 13 people with sun sensitivity known as photodermatitis showed less sensitivity to UV rays after taking omega-3 fish oil supplements. However, sunscreens are much better at protecting the skin from damaging effects of the sun, those who took EPA with their prescription medications did better than those treated with only medications.

Inflammatory bowel disease: IBD

Studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may help when added to medication, such as sulfasalazine which is a standard medication for IBD.


In a well-designed study of children with asthma, those who took omega-3 fish oil supplements rich in EPA and DHA for ten months experienced fewer symptoms compared to children who took a placebo pill.

Macular Degeneration

3,000 people over the age of 49 were asked who ate a more consistent diet of fish and ones who did were less likely to have macular degeneration than those who ate less fish. Another study comparing people with macular degeneration to people without the eye disease found that those with a healthy dietary balance of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as more fish in their diets, were less likely to have macular degeneration.

Colon Cancer

Omega-3 fatty acids seem to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. People who tend to have a high fatty acid diet have a low rate of colorectal cancer. Studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids prevent worsening of colon cancer. Researchers suggest taking fish oil daily to help slow the progression of colon cancer in people with early stages of the disease.

Breast Cancer

Women who have omega-3 fatty acids consistently in their diet over many years may be less likely to develop breast cancer.

Prostate Cancer

Omega-3 fatty acid fish oils may help prevent the development of prostate cancer.