What is fish oil?
Fish oil is animal fat obtained from fish, which is contained in its composition of omega-3 acids. In turn, omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most important substances for human metabolism. In addition, it is not produced in the body on its own, so you need to regularly eat foods rich in Omega-3. First of all, these products include marine fish and oils of some plants.
The benefits of Omega-3 are in the fight against various inflammations. The chronic shortage of these fatty acids associated with the lack of omega-3 sources in the diet (recall that they are not found in wheat and other cereals, as well as in meat, vegetables and fruits) is associated with an increase in the level of bad cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases and lowering immunity.
If you eat sea fish less than 2 times a week, it is recommended to take Omega-3 in the form of dietary supplements and fish oil in capsules. Separately, we note that these fatty acids are both plant and animal. At the same time, it is animals that are best assimilated, therefore sea fish and fish oil in capsules are preferable to be taken than flaxseed oil, walnuts, chia seeds and other vegetable sources of Omega-3.
Fish oil: dosage
Once again, we note that the best source of Omega-3 is fish oil - it is absorbed by the body as fully as possible, quickly becoming involved in metabolism. Typical recommended dosages of fish oil are 1-2 capsules 3 times daily after meals. However, when taking it, it is important to consider the content in each capsule of active ingredients - namely, animal omega-3 fats in the form of DHA and EPA.
Omega-3 Daily Values
- Children up to 12 months - 0.5 g
- Children from 1 to 3 years old - 0.7 g
- Children from 4 to 8 years old - 0.9 g
- Children from 9 to 13 years old - 1-1.2 g
- Children from 14 to 18 years old - 1.2-1.6 g
- Adults from 18 to 50 years old - 1.2-1.6 g
The minimum intake of omega-3 fats for adults and children is approximately 0.25 g (250 mg) per day, optimal for health is about 1-1.5 g (1000-1500 mg). The maximum safe dose for health depends on the sources of Omega-3 - no more than 7-8 g per day in the form of fish oil in capsules and unlimited in the form of ordinary food. Recall that in large quantities, fish oil can be toxic.
How to take Omega-3?
Omega-3 fats are necessary for the body all the time - the recommendation that fish oil should be taken in courses is erroneous. The time of admission does not matter - you can drink capsules both in the morning and in the evening. Traditionally, fish oil is taken with food, so as not to distinguish between their taste. This plays a particularly important role when taking capsules in children.
We also note that the lack of Omega-3 in the diet is one of the key indicators that a person’s daily nutrition is not built correctly. Even a long intake of fish oil in capsules is often not able to outweigh the harm caused by malnutrition, rich in fast carbohydrates, but poor in vegetables and other fiber foods , as well as sea fish.
Rich Omega 3 Products
Recall that omega-3 fatty acids are plant and animal. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid or AKA) belongs to plants, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid or DHA) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA) to animals. Scientific studies show that only 10-20% of plant-based Omega-3s are fully absorbed by the body¹.
That is why sea fish (primarily salmon and salmon), as well as fish oil in capsules are preferable to receiving than vegetable sources of Omega-3. Note that farm salmon can be considered even more useful than wild salmon - because beta-carotene is used to give a reddish color, the fish contains vitamin A , which is important for immunity and metabolism.
|Total Omega-3||Omega-3 fat profile, g|
|Flaxseed oil, tablespoon||7.3 g||7.3 g||-||-|
|Chia seeds, 30 g||5 g||5 g||-||-|
|Walnuts, 30 g||2.6 g||2.6 g||-||-|
|Cooked salmon, 100 g||1.5 - 1.8 g||-||1.2 - 1.3 g||0.3 - 0.5 g|
|Cooked herring, 100 g||1.6 - 1.8 g||-||0.9 - 1 g||0.7 - 0.8 g|
|Canola oil, tablespoon||1.3 g||1.3 g||-||-|
|Canned sardines, 100 g||1.1 - 1.3 g||-||0.7 - 0.8 g||0.4 - 0.5 g|
|Cooked trout, 100 g||0.8 - 0.9 g||-||0.4 - 0.5 g||0.4 g|
|Sea bass (sea bass), cooked, 100 g||0.5 - 0.7 g||-||0.4 - 0.5 g||0.1 - 0.2 g|
|Cooked shrimp, 100 g||0.2 - 0.3 g||-||0.15 g||0.15 g|
|Canned tuna, 100 g||0.1 - 0.3 g||-||0.1 - 0.2 g||0.05 g|
|Cooked beef, 100 g||0.05 g||0.05 g||-||-|
Benefits of Omega 3 and Fish Oil
Omega-3 fatty acids are needed by the body to combat various inflammatory processes in the body. They accelerate metabolism and tissue repair, reduce the level of the stress hormone cortisol , reduce blood viscosity, and normalize blood pressure. However, it’s more correct to talk about the dangers of omega-3 deficiency in the diet than the benefits of an extra supplement.
If you regularly eat the products listed in the table above, then do not think about taking fish oil in capsules. If you do not eat these foods at all, then you should consider buying vitamins. Otherwise, a decrease in immunity and metabolic disturbance. That is why scientific studies of fish oil are ambiguous - if the human diet is correct, taking Omega-3 will not be useful.
The best fish oil capsule
When you choose fish oil in capsules, then pay attention to the content of eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) fatty acids in its composition, as well as the recommended daily dosage. The daily requirement is a total intake of approximately 1 g Omega-3 per day in the form of these EPA and DHA. Some manufacturers seek to reduce the cost of the product, therefore, reduce the number of active ingredients.
Despite the fact that on the package of fish oil it will be mentioned that to cover the daily norm, Omega-3 will need to take 3-5 capsules per day immediately, the buyer will not pay any attention to this and will take 1 capsule. It is necessary to buy capsules with fat, and not vitamin complexes, since in the second case the dosage of Omega-3 per capsule will be minimal.
The quality of the feedstock and processing technology also plays a role in choosing the best fish oil in capsules - starting from which fish the fat was extracted from, ending with the quality of the capsule itself. Good capsules have a thick shell that breaks down in the stomach and minimizes the aftertaste - unlike liquid fish oil, which you need to drink with spoons.
Flaxseed oil as a source of Omega-3
Despite the fact that flaxseed oil (just like flaxseed or chia seeds) contains a fairly large amount of omega-3 fatty acids, only a small fraction of these omega-3s will be fully absorbed by the body. To cover the daily allowance, you will need to drink a large tablespoon of flaxseed oil.
The situation with chia seeds is even more deplorable - producers like to indicate on the packaging that these seeds are the leader in Omega-3 content, forgetting to mention that to cover the daily norm you will have to eat 30 to 50 grams of these seeds per day. Given the cost of chia seeds, this approach is difficult to recommend to ordinary people.
Omega-3s are similar to vitamins - they are important for metabolism, but cannot be produced in the body and should be regularly taken with food. The daily norm of Omega-3s is numbers of the order of 1-1.2 g per day, and a dosage conversion to fish oil should be carried out taking into account the content of active ingredients. The body needs these acids all the time - it’s important to eat sea fish 1-2 times a week or drink fish oil in capsules for a long time.
- Efficiency of conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to long chain n-3 fatty acids in man, source
- Examine.com: a compendium on supplements, nutrition, fitness, and health - Fish Oil, source
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Fact Sheet for Health Professionals, source
- Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Disease, Kris-Etherton, Penny M .; William S. Harris, Lawrence J. Appel, source
- Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA: Health benefits throughout life, source
- Applications of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation for sport performance, source