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Are your fish oil tablets POINTLESS? The truth about popular Omega 3 supplements revealed

  • Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for keeping our hearts healthy
  • Best source of them is oily fish but many people take oil supplements instead
  • But experts now say that there is little evidence for the tablets' health benefits 

You'll have probably heard of Omega 3 fatty acids - these are the healthy fats that are essential for keeping our hearts in good shape.

And nearly all doctors agree that the best way to consume these healthy fats is to eat plenty of oily fish such as salmon and tuna.

But as it can be hard to regularly incorporate fish in our diets, taking fish oil supplements such as cod liver oil tablets has become a daily ritual for many people.

However experts now believe these supplements are not the wonder pills their manufacturers often claim them to be.

Experts are now saying that fish oil tablets are not the wonder pills the bottles often claim them to be

Experts are now saying that fish oil tablets are not the wonder pills the bottles often claim them to be

Marion Nestle, the Paulette Goddard professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, told Dana Hunnes at SELF that most of the evidence for the benefits of Omega 3s come from studies where the participants had eaten fish, not taken supplements.

In addition, she said 'the evidence from supplement studies is decidedly mixed'.

The conclusion many experts have come to is that you get far more Omega 3 benefits from eating oily fish such as salmon and tuna than taking any fish oil supplements.

But that's not the only reason why doctors are turning their backs on these fish oil tablets.

Doctors now say it's much better to get your required dosage of Omega 3 fatty acids from eating oily fish such as salmon (right) and tuna (left)

Doctors now say it's much better to get your required dosage of Omega 3 fatty acids from eating oily fish such as salmon (right) and tuna (left)

SELF reports that a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that out of 18 randomised clinical trials into fish oils, only two showed that there were any health benefits from taking tablets regularly. 

What's more, it's thought that we would need to consume a lot more fish oil than we do right now to see any health benefits.

A study by the American Heart Association has found that patients taking a daily four gram dose of Omega 3 fatty acids from fish oils recovered better after a heart attack than those taking a placebo.

But in order to reach this four gram dose, you would need to consume at least eight fish oil tablets a day as the average pill only contains between 400 and 1,200 mg of fish oil.

Consuming this much fish oil in tablet form can have side effects, however, including fishy breath, belching, nausea, cramps and even nosebleeds.

So instead of popping these pills everyday, instead try to just eat more fresh fish, say the experts.

And if you're vegan or allergic to fish, then algae and algal oils are another source of Omega 3 fatty acids. 

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Comment by vaughn mitchell on January 28, 2017 at 6:59pm

seen the price of tuna and salmon.

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