Fish Oil: Benefits, Side Effects & Secrets

There are a lot of natural products that make some pretty big claims of helping you to combat disease and live a healthier life, but few of them are as proven to be effective as fish oil. Unfortunately, not all fish oil supplements are alike and you really do need to pay close attention to the kind of fish oil that you are getting as well as the reputation of the company that has made it. But, if you are careful, you should find that fish oil has a substantial number of benefits without a lot of side effects.

Fish Oil Side Effects

When people say that they eat a lot of fish, one warning that is always given to them is to watch out for mercury poisoning. This is because many fish have been poisoned with mercury and that can make its way into our body when we eat them. The same can also be said for fish oil – there will be some brands that may occasionally be higher in mercury than you would like.

So, if you are regularly taking fish oil, you should always keep an eye out for signs of mercury poisoning, such as hair loss and fainting. Because of the potential for mercury poisoning, most doctors will tell pregnant and breast feeding women to refrain from taking this supplement because of the potential for birth defects. However, not all side effects are nearly as serious as that and you should consider mercury poisoning to be extremely rare.

Most people aren’t aware that fish oil is actually an anti-coagulant or a blood thinner, so if you are already taking some kind of blood thinner such as Coumadin or Warfarin, then you should talk to your doctor before you try this kind of nutritional supplement.

One of the problems that a lot of people have when taking fish oil supplements is that they can taste the fish oil when they burp. It can also leave a strange taste in your mouth, which a lot of people really don’t like. You will find that some fish oil supplements have been altered so that they no longer have a fishy taste or smell and that can be beneficial, especially if you are prone to indigestion issues. You will generally have fewer side effects when taking this if you eat a meal at the same time.

Fish Oil Benefits

Fish Oil BenefitsAs stated above, fish oil is an anti-coagulant, which means that in addition to making your blood run thinner, it also helps to reduce inflammation. Fish oil contains a variety of Omega 3 fatty acids that have been proven to boost a body’s ability to fight inflammation. So, if you are someone with arthritis or you regularly suffer from pain, then fish oil can truly benefit you.

Many people are told to take fish oil by their doctor as a result of their cholesterol and cardiovascular health. Fish oil has been proven to reduce cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and actually increase the good kind of HDL cholesterol. As a result, you should have fewer cardiac issues and live a longer and healthier life.

When your blood is thinner, you will also have less chance of a stroke or heart attack. If you are known to have blood clots or you have had a stroke or heart attack in the past, then fish oil is a natural way to thin your blood so that the plaque will not continue to build up in your arteries.

Finally, there is sufficient evidence to prove that taking fish oil on a regular basis can help many of the brain functions that you probably take for granted, including memory, focus, reasoning, and recall. Especially as you grow older and you start to slip in all of these categories, this is something that will really help to improve your overall quality of life.

Fish Oil Supplements

Ideally, you would hope that every fish oil supplement that you find on the shelves of your nutritional supplement store would be equally effective at helping you to lead a healthier life, but that is definitely not the case. The first thing that you will need to look out for when you are choosing a supplement is the freshness of the product. Most fish oil supplements will have a “sell by” date that you really should take seriously. If you open up your fish oil and notice a very fishy smell or a rancid odor, then you should return it because it will do more harm than good.

As far as the ingredients in your fish oil go, you will want to choose one that contains both DHA and EPA, which are Omega 3 fatty acids. The higher percentage of each of these that you find in the product, the better it will be for you.

Another consideration would be the overall purity of the fish oil supplement. For instance, you want the product to be completely natural, with no additives, colorings, or flavorings of any kind. This can be hard to find, but it is worth seeking out because you will get better results.

Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil

There are obvious benefits to be had from taking regular fish oil, but if you are looking for something that is much more powerful and effective, then you might want to consider taking krill oil. Krill are actually very small crustaceans that look sort of like shrimp and they can be found in abundance all over the world. The oil that comes from them is much more pure than normal fish oil and that means that it has more of the necessary ingredients for your body.

Another factor that might make you choose krill oil over regular fish oil is that your body is able to absorb krill oil much quicker and one of the benefits of that is that it is less likely that it will be burped up. So, if you have had problems with fish oil aftertaste, then this can certainly provide you with some relief.

When it comes to mercury contamination, krill oil is much less affected than regular fish oil. Especially if this is a supplement that you are planning on taking in the long term, then krill oil will help you to avoid the potential for mercury poisoning or contamination.

All in all, fish oil and krill oil are amazingly beneficial for old and young alike, and by adding this to your diet, you will have less pain, less inflammation, lower cholesterol, and a smaller risk of potentially fatal problems like heart attack and stroke.