by Jody Ginther
The benefits of fish oil have been hitting the news recently as
researchers around the world perform deeper studies. Most of the
benefits mentioned are tied to the bodies need for Omega 3 fatty
acids. The American Heart Association recommends increasing your Omega
3 intake by high fat fish, (tuna, mackerel, trout, sardines, salmon,
et.), at least two times per week. Even NASA has researched fish oil
to find that it reduces losses in bone density in astronauts. Research
indicates that it reduces inflammation, cancer risk, mood swings,
arthritis, and may help several joint and muscle related diseases. It
has also been linked to better memory and brain function.
Are all fish oils the same?
No. The main types of fish oil are fish liver oils and fish oil
obtained from fish fat. Cod liver oil has been researched more than
other fish liver oils. Research indicates that fish liver oils come
with the added benefit of vitamins A and D. Both of these vitamins are
considered antioxidants that help detoxify your body and decrease your
risk for cancer. One of our main sources for vitamin D is sunlight.
The sun triggers the synthesis of vitamin D in your skin. With modern
indoor lifestyles, many experts claim vitamin D deficiencies are on
the rise. Vitamin D is necessary for your body to utilize calcium.
Read the labels before buying fish liver oil supplements. Some
companies actually remove the vitamins A and D from the oil before
they sell it. Fish also picks up pollutants from the water. The source
of the fish is important. Also, what percentage is actually liver oil?
Many companies mix large amounts of fish fat oil with their liver oil
Myth: It is bad for you because it smells bad or tastes bad. It
must be rancid.
Let me put it this way; how good does a fresh fish smell? If you ever
licked a fresh fish, you probably didnt like the taste. A bad
taste can mean the fish oil is in more natural form. To dilute the
oil with flavorings and chemicals to make it taste less like fish may
interfere with its effectiveness.
What are the dangers of too much?
The jury is out on this one. Estimates on how much is too much are
recently being revised upwards do to recent finings. Some experts are
"unofficially" recommending 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day. The
Institute of Medicine recommends only 50 to 200 IU per day at this
Dr. Vieth criticized
medical researchers for failing to produce evidence for vitamin D
toxicity at even 10,000 IU per day. The amount of supplemental
vitamins you would have to eat would not be possible for most people.
So, research seems to be inadequate at this point to make a conclusion
on; how much is too much. The safest choice would be to consult