Other names: marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, long-chain fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, DHA. Fish oils, as krill oil, are good sources of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); the two substances are part of the family of Omega-3 fatty acids.


  • Reduce certain risk factors for cardiovascular disease; reduce the risk of reinfarction.
  • Relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
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  • likely effectiveness
  • Treat depression.
  • uncertain effectiveness
  • Alleviating the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis. Relieve menstrual pain.
  • Prevent allergies, asthma, and eczema.

Fish oil dosage

To reduce belching caused by the ingestion of fish oil, take it at the beginning of the meal. The oil thus less likely to stay in the stomach. Enteric-coated capsules also reduce belching, since they dissolve in the intestine rather than the stomach.

  • cardiovascular protection

  1. For healthy people: consume at least 500 mg of EPA / DHA per day, or by taking a supplement of fish oil, either by eating 2 to 3 meals of oily fish per week.
  2. For people with coronary heart disease: consume 800 mg to 1000 mg of EPA / DHA per day, or by taking a supplement of fish oil, either by eating fish daily fat.
  3. The diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disorders, even with a natural counter product, require the intervention of a health professional.

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  • Reducing blood triglycerides

Take fish oil supplements, providing 2 g to 4 g per day of EPA / DHA. The beneficial effect may take six weeks to 3 months to show up. Start with a low dose and increase gradually.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Take fish oil supplements, providing 3 g to 6 g per day of EPA / DHA. The beneficial effect may take up to three months to show up. Start with a low dose and increase gradually.

  • Mood disorders and depression

Although the efficacy of fish oil and the optimal dose are not established, this supplement is safe and may be useful for depression in conjunction with antidepressants or not. The current dose is 1 g of EPA.

  • Liver oil cod or halibut: avoid

Cod liver oil has become popular in the nineteenth century to fight against rickets. Although it is an inexpensive source of omega-3, its high content of vitamin A is a problem. In fact, the vitamin accumulates in the body rather than being eliminated: a long-term excess can be toxic. It must not exceed a continuously tolerable upper intake of 3,000 micrograms (10,000 IU) of vitamin A per day or depending on the source of cod or halibut, which was pulled oil, and in the extraction processes and packaging which was subjected the product. The vitamin A content of a supplement can vary from 250 mcg ( 833 IU) to 3000 micrograms (10,000 IU) per 5 ml (1 tsp.).

Moreover, according to analyzes by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on products purchased in the United States in 2001, cod liver oils contain, in general, significantly more of PCBs and DDT oils fish, delicious.

Fish oil Description

The oils of most marine animals, like seafood and some algae, are a source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), two fatty acids of omega-3. The human body can make these long-chain fatty acids from an omega-3 vegetable, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), but in tiny quantities. AEP participates in the development of eicosanoids of series 3, substances that play a central role in cell membranes. The Series 3 eicosanoids are involved in many biochemical processes in the body: regulating blood pressure, maintaining the elasticity of blood vessels, immune responses and anti-inflammatory, blood platelet aggregation, development and brain function, etc. DHA plays a minor role in terms of eicosanoids but produces substances called resolvins protectins and contributing to the resolution of inflammation. Much of the fish oils are a by-product of the fishing industry. It is derived from the remains of fish processing (fillets, steaks, canned, etc.).

Food sources of omega-3 marine

US and Canadian medical authorities determined jointly Recommended Nutrient Intakes for several vitamins and minerals, but not for EPA and DHA. In 2002, the Institute of Medicine of the United States had found insufficient data to determine the contribution. In Canada, the Food Guide, revised in 2007, does not provide specific recommendations for omega-3 marine or plant sources.

However, in light of much evidence now available, many experts recommend consuming 500 mg per day of EPA and DHA to benefit from the cardioprotective effects of omega-3 marine1-5 origin. For people who are at risk or suffering from coronary artery disease, the suggested daily intake is 800 mg to 1000 mg1,3.4. A group of North American experts believes that the data is now compelling enough to set a specific recommended dietary allowance for EPA and ADH5.

Most of the fishes and seafood contain EPA and DHA, in varying proportions. generally recommends eating fatty fish such as rainbow trout, herring, mackerel, sardines, tuna, salmon, etc. To fully benefit from the virtues attributed to omega-3 fatty acids that fish contain, avoid overcooking.

The weights of fishes that provide about 500 mg of EPA and DHA

  • 20 g Atlantic mackerel
  • 25 g Atlantic salmon (farmed)
  • 30 g Atlantic herring or Pacific
  • 35 g of Pacific mackerel
  • 30 g of canned pink salmon
  • 40 g of sockeye salmon
  • 50 g of sardines
  • 50 g rainbow trout (farmed)
  • 65 g of white tuna (albacore or) canned
  • 100 g shrimp

Deficiency in omega-3 marine

Experts consider that not only most Westerners do not eat enough foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, but their excessive consumption of omega-6 fatty acids night the metabolism of omega-3. In 2009, a panel of experts looked at mortality could be prevented by lifestyle modifiable. Of the 12 surveyed points (smoking, alcohol, for example), a low intake of marine omega-3 comes in 6th place in the United States. According to these experts in public health, adequate intake could prevent annually 63 000-97 000 deaths related to cardiovasculaires6 diseases.

History of fish oil

The history of fish oil initiated by studying the habits of the Inuit people of Greenland, who were interested in the marine omega-3. Indeed, their diet was rich in fat (meat and fish oil, seal, and whale), and they rarely suffered from cardiovascular diseases or rheumatoid arthritis. Subsequently, research has demonstrated that regular consumption of this type of fat – primarily EPA and DHA – lowers blood triglyceride levels, “clears” the blood, ensures the regularity of the heart muscle beats, and fights inflammation.

In the late 1990s and the early twenty-first century, it has increased the epidemiological studies and clinical trials on the therapeutic efficacy of fish oil. This abundance of research has contributed to a better understanding of the role of omega-3 EPA and DHA. Medical authorities in the majority of developed countries then began to recommend people to eat more fish, especially fatty fish, to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, among others.

Prescription fish oil is not available in Canada. In Japan, a product containing purified EPA (Epadel®) is approved as a prescription drug for treating hyperlipidemia and certain symptoms of peripheral arterial disease, a condition that causes clogged arteries. In the US, the drug Lovaza (47% EPA, 38% DHA), is approved for reducing the high blood triglycerides. In Europe, it is marketed under the name of Omacor as adjunctive treatment of myocardial infarction in secondary prevention and for the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia resistant to standard treatment (alone or in combination with statins). Since the early 2000s, the omega-3 has also been experiencing some popularity as an adjuvant treatment of depression.

Note. Fish oil is an interesting extra, but the fish does not consist of EPA and DHA. It contains many other nutrients that together have a protective effect on the heart: amino acid (taurine, arginine, and glutamine) and trace elements (selenium, zinc, and others).


  • Warning

The diagnosis and treatment of cardiac disorders, even with a natural counter product, require the intervention and monitoring by a health care professional. Fish liver oils are not recommended as a source of omega-3, because of their high content of vitamin A. If used regularly, make sure not to exceed continuously the tolerable Upper intake of vitamin A (3000 micrograms or 10 000 IU per day).

Persons sensitive to bruising and those suffering from blood disorders or taking anticoagulant drugs should avoid high doses of fish oil. People with inherited or acquired hemophilia should consult their doctors before taking fish oil supplements, mercury, and other contaminants. The results of analyzes conducted in recent years, it seems that fish oil does not contain significant amounts of mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and dioxins (toxic pollutants), probably due to the quality control of the raw material delivered to suppléments57-59 manufacturers.

  • Contra-indications

Fish allergy: People with a severe allergy, that is to say, anaphylactic, fish should not take fish oil. However, if it is an allergic skin reaction, a test can be done. Indeed, allergy to fish is caused by the proteins contained therein and not by their oils. These are highly purified and free of proteins.

Severe allergy to a fish species: in severe allergies to a particular type of fish, such as salmon, things get a little complicated. Despite the labels that say the kinds of fish oils (anchovy or sardine, for example), the consumer can never be sure. Indeed, much of the fish oil is a by-product of the fishing industry. It is derived from the remains of fish processing (fillets, steaks, canned, etc.). Even if there is a larger amount of these fish, there may also be fractions from other types of fish.

  • Side effects

Outside of taste, which many find unpleasant, and fish stench, undesirable effects are rare in the usually recommended dosages and generally limited to mild gastrointestinal disorders. To reduce the smell of fish, taking the supplements before meals or obtain supplements enteric coating. In high doses, fish oil may cause nausea, loose stools, and nosebleeds.

  • Interactions

  1. With plants or supplements
    The effects of fish oil at the rate of more than 4 grams of EPA / DHA per day can be added to those plants or supplements that have anticoagulant or antiplatelet actions.
  2. With drugs
    The effects of fish oil at the rate of more than 4 grams of EPA / DHA per day can be added to those of synthetic drugs that have anticoagulant or antiplatelet actions. It was believed that fish oil could interfere with medications that control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Still, the dosages used in the study; this treatment did not affect sugar levels in the blood of participants.