Should I Continue Taking My Fish Oil?
The New York Times article Fish Oil Claims Not Supported by Research
generated a plethora of emails this morning asking me what my opinion was on this subject.
Should I continue taking my fish oil?
The definitiveness of the title of the article and claims are curious to me given all the research that does support use of fish oil. Reading the comments many of the readers point out discrepancies the author of this article failed to include.
What was the population these studies were researching? Most had participants who had significant heart disease and/or had experienced a stroke.
What was the amount and quality of DHA and EPA the research subjects were given?
Many were given low levels of fish oil equal to 1 pill per day, and quality was not defined. With many supplements brand is not significant but with fish oil quality is imperative due to mercury levels and PCB’s that exist in fish oil, affecting the benefit one receives from it.
The amount of fish oil is also important and low levels have not shown to be of much benefit. Dosages are imperative or amounts greater than 500 mg. each of DHA and EPA.
Given the quality of our fish and increased levels of mercury it is also curious that the author defaults to recommending fish several times a week. This recommendation would show there is benefit to greater amounts of DHA and EPA, showing a discrepancy.
Finally, the article fails to address the multiple research studies showing great benefit of fish oil for lowering triglycerides, improving insulin resistance leading to diabetes, mood elevation, hormone balance and less overall inflammation.
So yes, keep taking your fish oil!
If you have significant heart disease it may not show regression but if you want to improve the quality of your cellular structure to lower inflammation and improve many other health related issues fish oil has been proven to be of great benefit. Just be sure to take a good quality fish oil and make sure the dosage fits your particular genetics, health related concerns and goals.