Omega-3 fish oil supplements offer several health benefits, from boosting immunity to heart health. However, many people believe in myths and misconceptions. Let’s debunk them all today!

Omega-3 fish oil supplements are derived from fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel. These contain essential omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The benefits of fish oil stem from its omega-3 fatty acid content, which contributes to improved heart and brain health, and reduced inflammation. Despite their popularity among health-conscious individuals, there are still misconceptions surrounding fish oil supplements, leading to myths such as that they only help with heart health or that all fish oils are the same.

7 myths about omega-3 fish oil supplements

Omega-3 fish oil supplements have gained popularity due to their numerous health benefits. However, misinformation and confusion often make it tough for people to decide whether to incorporate them into their daily diet or not. Let us debunk these 7 myths about omega-3 fish oil supplements:

Myth 1: All omega-3 fish oil supplements are same

People believe all fish oils are the same and provide the same benefits. But this is not true! The nutritional value of supplements depends on several factors, such as the source of the fish, the extraction method, and the manufacturing process. Look for supplements from reputed brands and those certified by third-party organisations to ensure purity and potency.

Myth 2: Omega-3 fish oil supplements are only beneficial for heart health

While omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart, their benefits extend far beyond heart health. Omega-3s play a crucial role in brain function, joint health, eye health, and overall inflammation management. Research from Advances in Nutrition suggests that omega-3 supplements may also support cognitive function, mood regulation and reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline.

7 common myths about omega-3 fish oil supplements
Fish oil supplements have many health benefits. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Myth 3: Omega-3 fish Oil can cause fishy burps

Low-quality fish oil supplements may cause fishy burps or aftertastes due to rancidity or inadequate purification. However, high-quality fish oil supplements that undergo molecular distillation to remove impurities and minimise oxidation are less likely to cause such side effects. Additionally, taking fish oil supplements with meals can help reduce the risk of experiencing fishy burps.

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Myth 4: Only the elderly need fish oil

Fish oil is not only good for elders. It’s good for everyone’s well-being. From its function in brain health in young adults to joint flexibility for athletes, omega-3 fish oil offers a variety of benefits to people of different ages. You don’t have to wait until it’s too late to start taking advantage of these nutrient-filled supplements.

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Myth 5: Omega-3 fish oil supplements increase the risk of bleeding

While omega-3 fatty acids have blood-thinning properties, moderate consumption of fish oil supplements is generally safe for most people, including those taking blood-thinning medications. However, individuals with bleeding disorders or those scheduled for surgery should consult their healthcare provider before starting omega-3 fish oil supplementation to determine the appropriate dosage and potential risks.

Myth 6: Omega-3 fish oil supplements are not safe for pregnant women

Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are essential for fetal brain and eye development during pregnancy. A study published by Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests that omega-3 supplementation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of preterm birth, support healthy birth weight, and enhance cognitive development in infants. However, pregnant women should consult their healthcare provider before starting any supplementation to ensure safety and appropriate dosage.

Pregnant woman
Omega-3 fish oil supplements are beneficial for pregnant women. Image courtesy: Freepik

Myth 7: You can get sufficient omega-3s from diet alone

While it is possible to obtain omega-3 fatty acids from dietary sources such as fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, many people do not consume enough of these foods regularly to meet their omega-3 needs. Hence, taking supplements (why do you need supplements) can be a convenient and reliable way to ensure an adequate intake of these essential nutrients.

A word of caution from Health Shots: Refrain from consuming supplements without expert supervision or a doctor’s recommendation to prevent potential adverse effects.

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