The Risks & Benefits of Fish Oil Supplements

Fish Oil Supplement Risks & BenefitsA growing body of research suggests that fish oil supplements may hold substantial health benefits, especially for people diagnosed with coronary artery disease. At the same time, there have also been a number of misleading claims that appear to overestimate fish oil benefits. If you’ve thought of adding these supplements to your dietary regimen, learn important fish oil risks, myths and facts.
What Are They?
Abundant with two essential omega-3 fatty acids known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), fish oil supplements are harvested from the fatty tissue of oily, cold water fish. Once the oil is processed to eliminate impurities, it is either bottled or encased in a gelatin capsule for convenient consumption.
What They Can Do
Thousands of studies provide strong evidence that fish oil supplementation can benefit the cardiovascular system, especially among people who already suffer from coronary artery disease. Many studies have also shown that fish oil appears to reduce inflammation, which make it a potential treatment for a wide range of health problems. Still other studies indicate that fish oil could help relieve depression, ward of certain forms of cancer and help with dementia. With that said, although there has been promising research, there is not yet enough evidence to support many of these claims.
What They Can’t Do
While some research has indicated that diets high in omega-3 fatty acids might protect brain health, researchers at the National Institutes of Health recently found that omega-3 supplements offered no noticeable impact on cognitive decline in older persons. Other studies have shown inconsistent results related to the actual health impact of fish oils. For instance, in a large review published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers said they found no associated between fish oil supplementation and a lower risk of all-cause mortality, sudden death, cardiac death, stroke or myocardial infarction.
What Are the Risks?
While fish oil may indeed offer health benefits to certain people, some research suggests it might not be appropriate for everyone. Several studies indicate that fish oil might increase the risk of bleeding in some people. Other studies have shown it could increase the risk of prostate cancer for certain individuals.
Should I Take Fish Oils?
While current research offers limited insight into the potential health benefits of fish oil, experts agree that supplementation is generally safe for most healthy people. If you would like to add fish oil to your dietary regimen, get an evaluation from your doctor to see if any existing health issues might make supplementation imprudent.

Health News + Events

What to Expect With COVID-19 & Back-to-School Protocols

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in early 2020, it turned life upside down for more than 50 million school-age children across the country. In fact, according to Ed  Read More

TikTok Health Hacks: Safe or Sham?

No matter your preferred social media channel, you’ve likely seen viral health hacks for everything from congestion to snoring to weight loss. We turned to our team of certified  Read More

How to Treat a Dog Bite

Dogs are undoubtedly man’s best friend, but even the friendliest of creatures can sometimes get spooked or display aggressive behavior. Bites can even happen when giving an excit  Read More

What Our Patients Are Saying

Rating 4.6
Rating 4.2
Rating 4.6
Rating 5.0

"The overall care I received was excellent! I also appreciate your affiliation with Yale New Haven Hospital."

Patient
Derby, CT

"Throughout the visit I felt like the staff really cared. The Doctor took his time talking with me about my symptoms, and I felt like he listened to all my concerns and took that into consideration when recommending the right treatment. Thank you!"

Patient
Hamden, CT

"I had to take my son in for an ear infection following a sudden change in temperament at daycare. He was inconsolable the entire car ride but when we got there and by the time we left this care facility he was back to his normal happy go lucky little two year old boy. I highly recommend PhysicianOne Urgent Care."

Patient
Westwood, MA

"I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the attention you gave me last week. My son was started on antibiotics and ear drops. Within 24 hours he began to feel better. The poor kid had been going to school in tears because he was afraid of missing any more days, but feeling (and looking) just awful! He's not been able to even think about lacrosse practice, but thanks to starting him on antibiotics, he was thrilled to return to practice today."

Patient
Somers, NY