What Does Fish Oil Do
Fish oil is produced in the tissues of oily fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are contained in this oil and are thought to have many health benefits. Caution is the keyword in eating some of the fish with high fish oil content because some of the fish also have high toxic substances such as mercury, dioxin and other contaminants. The fish in question are sword fish, albacore tuna, sharks, king mackerel, and tilefish.
Salmon contains the highest grams per ounce of omega-3 acids and is not listed on the list of fish with high contaminant content. According to wikipedia, fish oil is used as a component in aquaculture feed and more than 50 percent of the world's fish oil used in aquaculture feed is fed to farmed salmon. There are other studies that recommend that farm raised salmon has higher than normal contaminants.
The increased interest in these omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil is preceded by a study done in Iceland on why the people living there don't have or have a very low rate of heart disease. It was found that the fat they ingest comes from the ocean and the fat most other people on the planet eat come from land animals. Since then a lot of research has been done on the effects of the omega-3 acids found in fish and other sources. The average American diet is much higher in the omega-6 acids and the imbalance between the two can be the cause of many problems.
The way fish is prepared also affects the effectiveness of eating high quality fish with the omega-3 fatty acids. Baking and broiling are the preferred methods of meal preparation. Eating fried fish can cancel out the good components of high quality fish and even sometimes increase the risk of heart disease.
In considering what does fish oil do, the omega 3 fatty acids can also be obtained by taking supplements. As with everything else, there are high quality fish oil supplements and those that are of a lower quality that contain contaminants. One should always discuss taking the supplements with their doctor before embarking on a program where they are include fish oil supplements with other medications.
If you are on chemotherapy, this definitely needs discussing with your doctor as fish supplements could have an adverse affect in some instances. Also, as with everything—too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Medical studies have found that overdosing with these supplements can have a reverse effect and increase the risk of strokes.
This article is to help you be aware of the pros and cons of including fish oil in your diet as food or as a supplement so as to have a knowledgeable discussion with your physician on whether to add it to your daily routine. Also, in the consultation with your doctor an important factor to consider is the dosage amount.
Unfortunately, the body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids. There are other foods and supplements that do contain these acids that we will cover later on. So one needs to consider these other options in order to make sure you have the omega-3 fatty acids circulating in your system and receive the many possible benefits of including them in your diet.