Fish Oil

Fish oil is an extremely popular supplement which has been shown to have many positive effects on the mind.

Benefits: neuroprotectant, reduces cancer risks, improves cardiovascular health

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What is Fish Oil?

As evidenced by its name, fish oil is harvested from the tissues of oily fish. These oils are harvested because they contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid(EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid(DHA). Both of these fatty acids are known to have certain health benefits. These oils are usually made from mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, and whale bludder. They are produced around the world. Currently, peru is the leading fish oil producer having earned US$156 million in 2005 on fish oil alone.

How Does Fish Oil Work?

The benefits derived from fish oil result from the omega-3 fatty acids it contains. The human body is incapable of producing its own omega-3 fatty acids. Increased levels of these fatty acids in the human body result in a very wide range of benefits ranging from anti-cancer and cardiovascular effects to a plethora of positive mental health effects.

Fish Oil Benefits

  • Reduces the risk of depression and suicide. [5]
  • Reduces the risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancer. [1][2][3]
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
  • Helps protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease [6] and Parkinson’s disease[7]
  • Slows bone less rate and increases bone density. [1]
  • Facilitates weight loss and decreases blood sugar when combined with regular exercise. [1]
  • Improves thinking skills and behavior in 8 to 12 year olds with ADHD. [1]
  • Lowers risk of stroke by as much as 27%. [1]
  • Long term use of 2 years or longer is associated with slowing the loss of kidey functions in high risk patients. [1]

Should I Use Fish Oil?

For those of you simply looking to improve your cognitive abilities by improving your memory, ability to learn, and ability to focus then fish oil may not be right for you. Besides the fact that is has a range of possible side effects it will not produce any noticeable feelings. However, if your family carries a risk of heart disease, depression, or suicide you should consider adding fish oil to your nootropic regimen simply to promote overall health. Also, if cancer is something you are worried about taking fish oil certainly won’t hurt. If the side effects make taking fish oil troublesome it may best to stop and look for an alternative.

Fish Oil Dosage Information

Depending on what you want to use fish oil for the recommended dosage will vary however the general dose for a nootropic regimen should not exceed 3grams/day:

  • For reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (1-4 grams/day)
  • For reducing high blood pressure (4grams/day)
  • For depression with conventional antidepressants (9.6grams/day)
  • For weight loss (2-7 ounces of fish that contain 3.65 grams/day)
  • For ADHD (400mg w/ 100mg of evening primrose oil, 6 capsules daily)
  • Prevention of psychosis (1.2grams/day)

Safety and Side Effects of Fish Oil

Fish oil is considered very safe for most everyone when taken in daily doses of 3grams per day or less. Side effects at this level of dosage may include belching, heartburn, nausea, belching, rashes, loose stools, and nosebleeds. Taking the supplement with meals or freezing them can many times lessen or completely eliminate these side effects.

When taken in more than 3 grams/day fish oil may keep blood from clotting and increase the chance of bleeding. Some other side effects at this level may include a reduction in your body’s immune system and an increase in LDL cholesterols.

There is also a list of things that fish oils tend to interact with:

  • Birth control pills tend to decrease the effectiveness of fish oil.
  • Taking medications for high blood pressure and fish oil at the same time may cause your blood pressure to drop too low.
  • Taking Orlistate(Xenical, Alli) for weight loss may negate the effects of fish unless taken at least 2 hours apart.

Where Can I Buy Fish Oil?

Fish Oil is an extremely popular supplement and can be found almost anywhere. Pharmacies, health and supplement stores, and grocery stores will all stock Fish Oil. It can also be found easily online. Because Fish Oil can be expensive you may want to compare prices with our Buyer’s Guide (in progress), or you can Buy Fish Oil Now!

Fish Oil Studies

Several studies have been conducted which reported anti-cancer effects in the omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil. More specifically these acids help reduce the chance of breast, colon, and prostate cancer. [1][2][3]. One study specifically targeted towards prostate cancer showed that the omega-3 fatty acids slowed progression and increased survival in genetically engineered mice. [4].

Two studies published in 2004 and 2009 states that the EPA fatty acid found in fish oil reduces the risk of suicide and depression. One study in particular, took blood samples of 100 patients who had attempted suicide. Scientists then compared those blood samples to samples taken from a control group. What they found was that levels of EPA in the suicide patients were significantly lower then levels found in t he control group. [5]

Another study conducted at the Louisiana State University in 2005 found that fish oil help protect the brain from cognitive disorders associated with Alzheimer’s disease. [6]. A similar study conducted on mice found that fish oil acts as a neuroprotectant against Parkinson’s disease. [7]

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