Understanding Fish Oil
Fish oil has a long history of being used as a nutritional supplement. It is generally derived from oil coming from the tissues of oily fish. There are many sources of fish that the world gets its fish oil supply from. But about 50 percent of all fish oil production in the world comes from farmed salmon.
Fish Oil Sources
Fish oil is primarily derived from farmed salmon. There are times when fish oil may also be sourced from other fatty fish notably mackerel, lake trout, flounder and tuna. But such types of fish are known to be predatory. And because of this, they run the risk of accumulating certain toxic substances such as mercury, dioxin and PCB’s. In order to avoid this and have fish oil sources known to be as clean as possible, farmed salmon are the best option.
Fish Oil Benefits
One of the things why fish oil has become quite a popular nutritional supplement around the world is because it is very rich in Omega -3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid. These compounds are said to help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. There are also studies that say that these nutrients also have anti-cancer properties as well as may help in certain cases of depression.
Fish Oil Production
Production of fish oil is shared among a number of countries. But it has been seen that there was a substantial decrease in total fish oil supply, mainly because of declines suffered by a lot of the said countries. Countries such as Peru, Chile, Denmark, Iceland and Norway are known as the five major fish oil exporting nations.
Despite the various benefits that fish oil is said to offer as a supplement, medical experts still suggest caution in overusing it. There have been studies that indicate certain risks associated with fish oil. In some studies, there are suspected risks that researchers have found in the use of EPA and DHA fatty acids in fish oil.
Over usage of EPA and DHA, which is determined at more than three grams daily, are known to increase the risk of bleeding, especially in people who are also taking aspirin or warfarin. But further research may be needed to determine if EPA and DHA do offer such risks. Extreme dosage intake of fish oil is also associated with a higher risk of experiencing hemorrhagic stroke. In some individuals, fish oil intake may also affect LDL cholesterol levels.
Because fish oil is still considered as fat, people with conditions arising from too much fat in their systems should also be cautious of taking fish oil as a supplement. Recent research seems to provide different results when it comes to how the fatty acids in fish oil affect people who may be suffering from heart disease or stroke.
In absence of definitive research, patients are being cautioned not to take fish oil without the recommendation from their doctor. People with certain heart problems or a history of heart disease should first talk with their doctors about the safety of taking fish oil supplements.