19 May Fish Oil
Dietary supplements have become an increasingly popular nutritional trend today. From Vitamin C to Melatonin, people have begun to stock up on just about any supplement they can to achieve optimal health. Whether you find this trend to be true or not, you might want to consider picking up some fish oil the next time you’re browsing your local pharmacy or grocery store supplement aisle.
Though the name may sound questionable, fish oil actually has a unique history in becoming a dietary supplement. It all started with studies of the Inuit people, who historically ate a high fat diet, but had a low incidence of heart attack. This is due to the fact that much of the fat in their diet was derived from fatty fish, which are now a common known source of Omega-3 fatty acids (EBSCO, 2020). Thus, fish oil is a dietary supplement of two specific Omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which work together to dilate blood vessels, inhibit blood clotting and reduce inflammation. Additionally, fish oil helps lower triglycerides and prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease (Mason et. al, 2017). On top of the cardiovascular benefits fish oil has to offer, it also improves soft and connective tissues, such as the brain, skin, and tendons. This is due to the collagen synthesis properties that fish oil has shown promising results in the regeneration and proliferation of soft and connective tissue cells (Chan et. al., 2016).
For many, this supplement must seem like a miracle, however there are some side effects that should be noted. According to Mayo Clinic, side effects may include nausea, bad breath, indigestion, a fishy aftertaste, loose stools, and potentially a rash. Additionally, the health authorities at Mayo warn against potential negative reactions this supplement has against additional medications/supplements you may be taking. This includes anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs and herbs, blood pressure drugs, contraceptives, Orlistat, or Vitamin E (Mayo, 2017). So the next time you’re taking your daily supplement regimen, be sure to consult a health professional before taking fish oil, and follow the instructions listed on the bottle.
Chan KOW, Tong HHY, Ng GYF. Topical Fish Oil Application Coupling with Therapeutic Ultrasound Improves Tendon Healing. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. 2016;42(12):2983-2989. doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2016.08.018.
EBSCO CAM Review Board. Fish oil as a dietary supplement. Salem Press Encyclopedia of Health. 2019. https://search-ebscohost-com.proxy.library.cornell.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ers&AN=94415780&site=eds-live&scope=site. Accessed March 8, 2020.
Fish oil. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-fish-oil/art-20364810. Published October 24, 2017. Accessed March 9, 2020.
Mason RP, Sherratt SC. Omega-3 fatty acid fish oil dietary supplements contain saturated fats and oxidized lipids that may interfere with their intended biological benefits. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 2017;483(1):425-429. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2016.12.127