5 Reasons You Need to Take Fish Oil

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The Essential Supplement

Fish Oil should be an essential in all of our diets for two basic reasons; The stuff is they key to our health being kept in balance and we simply don’t eat enough oily fish nowdays or have any other good sources of Omega 3′s.

I have been taking fish oil for years now but the last time I stopped for a while the consequences were more than noticeable. It was a few years ago when working in a summer camp. Obviously my intake of supplements had gone down to zero since I didn’t bring any along anyhow I continued training as usual and eating the poor diet which was devoid of fish. After about a 2 weeks I started to notice my joints became extremely sore especially during and shortly after weight training. At first I didn’t take much notice and put it all down to the damp weather, as the soreness got worse and worse I started thinking about what had changed in the last few weeks. Back at home I had only been taking 2 things which were 5-10 caps of fish oil per day and a Multi-Vitamin (which I was still taking every morning with breakfast. It hit me then that it was possible the inflammation I was getting as result of lacking my daily fix of fish oil was causing the problem.

On the next trip to Wal-Mart I picked up a mega bottle of fish oil caps and started popping them with breakfast and lunch. Within days my mood was up and my joints had no aching whatsoever, this was the moment I realized that Fish Oils really are essential and the talk we hear about them all the time is not hype but the truth. Here are my top 5 reasons you need to take your fish oil…….

1 – Lift Your Mood

There are a host of studies showing how Omega 3′s and especially DHA is essential to proper brain function and mood. I for one have noticed that mood is vastly improved when I am taking my Fish Oil not only mood though, my general feeling of well being all go up as well as resistance to things that would usually stress me out.

Check out this from Mike Roussell which shows the power Fish Oil can have:

I have a friend who suffered from bipolar depression (heavier on the depression than the mania). He started taking 10grams of fish oil a day, and started controlling his insulin levels (via the Zone Diet) and within a couple months all his symptoms went away. He now takes 5 grams of EPA/DHA a day, has no symptoms, and takes no meds.

Pretty amazing stuff and to me this is the main reason to take your fish oil, what good is a healthy body without a healthy and happy mind?

2 – Keeps You Limber

This is the classic reason to take your fish oil. I bet if you ask anyone over 70 about fish oil all they can remember is being given a spoonful every morning as a child as it would help keep their joints healthy. Well there is a lot of truth behind this Omega 3 fatty acid  contained in fish oil is a potent Anti-Inflammatory and can help keep your joints supple and inflammation free, they also interestingly enough help your body handle pain.

The omega-3 fats in fish oil safeguard your joints by counteracting a family of enzymes that attack cartilage. Omega-3s also boost your body’s levels of the chemicals that minimize painful, damaging inflammation.

Both very useful things when your doing a lot of sports or walking…..Your joints need to be as healthy as they can be and a spoonful of fish oil will do the trick.

3 – Increase Your Metabolism

This one is really cool, by simply taking your fish oil everyday you could rev up your metabolism and make your body burn more calories with NO effort whatsoever! this is mainly thanks to its ability to switch ON your fat burning mechanism and switch OFF your fat storage genes.

This is also partly in thanks to its ability to blunt insulin levels in the body and as we know high insulin levels make your body cling to fat and try and store the food you eat as fat.

4 – Bust Your Stress

Omega 3′s have the ability to supress the activation of stress hormone’s through trying times. To put it in a nut shell if your stressed out and angry your body will release less of the negative cascade of hormones if you have been taking your fish oil on a regular basis.

After 3 weeks of a diet supplemented with n-3 (omega 3) fatty acids, the stimulation by mental stress of plasma epinephrine, cortisol, energy expenditure, and plasma non esterified fatty acids concentrations, were all significantly blunted.

Another supplement that will have this effect is Vitamin C which also blunts the stress hormone cortisol, so remember to pop some with meals when your stressed out or going through a difficult period.

5 – Cheap and Easy

If your going to take one supplement make it fish oil. Its proven to be the most effective supplement on the market and its cheap and easy to get hold of. I would recommend that you get a bottle of Cod Liver Oil and take 1-2 TBSP’s per day. The added benefit you get from CLO is that it has Vitamin D (which is so important especially in these winter months) and you get some Vitamin A (Forgotten Nutrient Anyone……)

  • Take 1-2 TBSP’s of Fish Oil a day on a regular basis
  • Keep the Stuff in the Fridge
  • Buy a good brand (Nordic Naturals are great)
  • Always take it after food (preferably a meal containing fat)

A bottle which will cost you $5-10 will last you for over a month and will allow you to feel some real benefits. Its a shame we can’t say that for many other supplements on the market today.

Comments

  1. says

    Good post Chris. I have a few capsules of omega 3 left from last time I bought supplements. However, I was going to stop taking them because I have been eating smoked salmon most days and also eating a lot of nuts. Will this not give me enough omega 3?

    @ Tom: Unfortunately Tom the nuts will not give you any Omega 3′s. Its really good that your eating your Salmon daily but I would still take 5-10 capsules per day or 1 TBSP of fish Oil a few times a week to make sure your intake is adequate. You will feel a huge difference and don’t forget places like Holland & Barrett sell a months supply of fish oil caps for about £5…….

  2. Terry says

    Very informative. I buy these capsules hit-or-miss and take them even less. After reading your post, I’m going to start taking these as of right now. Thanks so much.

  3. says

    I think you hit on many really good points. Fish oils really ARE essential and many people miss out on the benefits everyday from lack of consumption.

    I however do not believe that fish oil is going to make a huge difference in metabolism. Sure, it may help burn a few more calories, but at the end of the day the amount if going to be very negligible.

    ie: do not take fish oils expecting them to be a miracle weight loss cure… take them because you NEED them.

  4. says

    I like your website, and now I’m going to start taking the fish oil capsules that have been sitting in my medicine chest.

    BTW, Art De Vany is my daughter’s father-in-law. :)

  5. Melinda says

    Great post!!

    I would like to reiterate a million times over the immense importance of omega 3 supplementation in the modern diet! During the times at which we evolved, our ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 intake was around 3 to 1 or 4 to 1. Now, due to agricultural changes and the ridiculous processing of our foods, we now (on average) consume a ratio of about 20 to 1 omega 6s to omega 3s! Getting closer to the approx. 4 to 1 ratio is really important.

    I’m a clinical psychology graduate student and know the area of research on omega 3s and mood fairly well. The impact of getting 1000 – 1200 mg of EPA/DHA daily has been found in more than one methodologically sound study to be at least as effective as antidepressant medications for reducing depressive symptoms! This finding is huge and one I’m sure the drug companies don’t want getting out there.

    (Side note: a regimen of daily omega 3 supplements, about 4 hours of aerobic exercise per week, a half hour of light exposure per day (by sun or lightbox, 10,000 lux), improved sleep hygiene (8 hrs per night at the same time every night), and increased time spent socializing was found, in one study, to engender remission of symptoms in nearly 80% of individuals with clinical depression.)

    Also, increasing omega 3 intake may play a role in reducing dementia later in life. The research is still ongoing in this area.

    Finally, if you find pills give you “fishy burps,” try keeping them frozen or buying a bottle of just the liquid (not encapsulated).

    Take that fish oil, everyone!

    @ Melinda: Thanks for this amazing post, full of facts and useful information which really enriches the topic! Thanks for dropping by and glad to see your enjoying reading ZTF!

  6. says

    You can also avoid ‘fishy burps’ by choosing a good quality, pharmaceutical-grade fish oil. This avoidable side-effect is caused by using fish oils that may have gone rancid. Choosing fish oils by companies that specialize only in producing fish oils is your best bet. Nordic Naturals, Carlson Labs and Zone Labs are a few companies that produce excellent, highly purified, pharmaceutical-grade fish oils.

  7. Jory says

    @Tom Parker

    Tom, as a vegan I have to find sources other than fish or eggs to supplement my omega-3 intake. Below I’ve listed some vegetarian foods and supplements that have high omega-3 contents.

    1. Ground flax seed (available at most super markets). 1-2 tbs. mixed in smoothies, yogurt or on toast with peanut butter works well.

    2. Chia seeds. Somewhat more difficult to find. You can get it at health food stores or Whole Foods. Chia seeds have even more omega-3 content than flax seeds, they can be eaten whole and preliminary research suggests they might have beneficial effects on blood sugar. Also mixes well in yogurt or smoothies.

    3. Hemp seeds / hemp milk. Hemp milk has a very high content of both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. While hemp milk is somewhat expensive and has a characteristic nutty flavor I find it pretty tasty.

    4. Walnuts. I’m not sure why Chris claimed there are no omega-3′s in nuts. This might be true for other nuts, but not the mighty walnut. Eat a handful every day. They’re loaded with omega-3s.

    5. Water4life vegetarian omega-3 supplement. Water4life makes omega-3 capsules derived from seaweed. Most people don’t realize that fish do not naturally produce omega-3s. The reason they are so rich in omega-3′s is that omega-3 rich algae is eaten by some fish and the omega-3s then move throughout the marine food chain. I have never actually tried water4life’s product, but I’ve heard form many people that it has taste and does not cause any bad breath. The website is http://www.water4.net

    I hope you find this useful. I’m not saying that taking fish oil is bad by any means. I just thought some readers might find it useful to know about vegetarian sources of omega-3s.

    Cheers,

    Jory

  8. Vegard Ryan says

    Fish oil have been a part of many norwegians diet for many years. Like myself

    But lately many have stopped using the fish oil, and instead started to use seal oil.
    Because many are reporting greater benefits from the seal oil.
    It consists of many of the same ingredients. But is maybe more effective on humans because seals also are mamamls?

    My own experience with the seal oil, (compared to fish oil) have given me much more flexible joints expecialy during the cold winter months.
    Morning stiffness especialy in my back is very much reduced.
    And the taste is much more neutral.

    I do not know how available this oil is around the world.
    But here is a link to a study about it over here………

    @ Ryan: Cool post and thanks for the link! I had no idea about sea oil but you Norwegian’s seem to know what your doing so I am pretty sure we will start seeing the stuff worldwide before long! Thanks for stopping by….

  9. says

    5-10 capsules per day? That sounds like an awful lot of pills to pop on top of multivitamins and all. How many mg’s are you recommending Chris? Maybe your pills are less potent?

    The SoG

    • says

      @ SOG: In order to get the amount of EPA/DHA a day you would need 1TBSP of regular fish oil at least and this is equal to 10 normal capsules or 5 super strength capsules. Try taking 2 with each meal and you should be getting at least 8 a day….

      @ Jory: Thanks for your comment, very helpful reference point……

  10. says

    Hm… I get 1200mg of EPA/DHA from 3 capsules. :-/
    What levels are you shooting for?

    The SoG

    @ SOG: I would be shooting for about 3-5 Grams of EPA/DHA a day give it a try, or simply get a bottle of Carlson’s Fish Oil and take a TBSP each day, its cheaper that way…..

  11. says

    I would add Acenta’s Nutra Sea line of fish oil products to #6 – the Healthy Oil Guy’s list.

    My wife won’t eat fish, but I have her downing a tbsp of Nutra Sea every morning.

  12. Rick says

    What about krill oil? I heard that is more potent.

    @ Rick: Unfortunately I am not too familiar with Krill oil, its supposed to be more potent and can be taken at a lower dosage with the same benefit. From what I have seen though its not researched enough and its very very expensive so I would just stick to plain old fish oil Its cheap and does the job well…..

  13. says

    Hi, just today found this blog but I have to say that it looks great. I totally agree with your post. Have a nice day, keep up the nice work and I’ll definitely keep reading.

  14. Susan Caddell says

    You are right about what you have posted. I was told by a cardiologist to take 4,000 mg of fish oil a day, because my good cholesterol number was too low. WOW, I feel great. I had started to slack at my job, and my brain function has improved. I feel like my old self. I am in my mid 30′s and had no idea why I felt the way I did. This is great information and is very useful. Take the fish oil, and you will see the difference.

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