Fish oil is a popular supplement you may be curious to try. And with good reason. Fish oil is a powerhouse supplement that can support brain function, heart health, joint mobility, skin, hair, eye health and even gut health.123 It contains loads of healthy fats that feed your body from the inside out.
Fish oil supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many people turning to them for their potential health benefits. But, with so many options on the market, it can be difficult to know which omega-3 supplement to choose.
Whether you’re a seasoned health enthusiast looking to optimize your wellness stack or someone just starting to explore the potential of nutritional supplements, learn everything you need to know about fish oil to choose the right option for you. Discover what exactly is in the supplement, the benefits of fish oil, scientific-backed studies about fish oil, the Bulletproof approach to fish oil, fish recipes and common FAQs.
Let’s dive in.
What is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is a dietary supplement made from the oils of fatty fish like sardines, mackerel and salmon. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fats that offer various health benefits. These omega-3 fatty acids include EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Supplements allow for more control of the dosage of omega-3 fatty acids, making it easier to ensure that you are getting a consistent amount of these beneficial nutrients.
Fish oil supplements are a convenient way to increase your daily dose of “good” fats because you can take them on the go, with no fish cooking required. Plus, if you don’t like the taste of fish, supplements are a great alternative as high-quality brands minimize the fishy taste and odor.
You can take fish oil in capsule or liquid form. It’s a popular supplement that supports overall well-being, as you can see from the following benefits.
Benefits of Fish Oil
Fish oil supplements can positively affect your health in many ways:
Supports Heart Health
Fish oil can help lower triglyceride levels, reduce blood pressure, and improve cholesterol profiles by increasing HDL (good) cholesterol and reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol.4
Improves Joint Mobility
Fish oil has soothing properties that can help reduce joint pain and stiffness7. If you’re an athlete, consider adding fish oil to your diet which may help to improve your mobility.
Supports Glowing Skin
Omega-3 fatty acids help maintain the skin's natural oil barrier, preventing excessive dryness and promoting hydration.8 This can lead to smoother, softer and more supple skin.
Now that we’ve explored some of the various benefits of fish oil, let’s delve into the scientific evidence that supports exciting new health developments.
The Science-Backed Benefits of Fish Oil
Fish oil supplements may have the potential to help improve strength training, according to a recent research study.9 When combined with resistance exercise training, fish oil supplements improved upper-body and lower-body strength compared to participants taking a placebo. Taking a fish oil supplement could be a cost-effective nutritional strategy to support general health and training, especially if you don’t often eat fish.
Another scientific study looked at the link between the regular use of fish oil supplements and the risk of developing inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs).10 Researchers concluded that habitual intake of fish oil supplements potentially led to a lower risk of IBDs. Though more research is needed, fish oil supplements may be recommended for the control and prevention of such health conditions.
And finally, fish oil supplements may support cognitive memory, according to a two-year research study.11 Participants taking fish oil supplements recorded significantly fewer errors in working memory tasks than those receiving the placebo. And even as tasks got harder, the active group did better than the placebo group. Increasing fish oil intake could be beneficial in lessening the risk of dementia later in life and reducing cognitive decline.
The Bulletproof Approach to Fish Oil
At Bulletproof, we are committed to providing you with high-quality products you can trust, made with science-backed ingredients. We value balancing a healthy lifestyle and diet while exploring options like supplements to help you reach your health goals.
Fish Oil Supplements
Even if you have a healthy lifestyle and diet, it can be difficult to always stay on track. Plus, if you’re traveling or frequently on the go, sticking to your regular routine can become challenging. Adding supplements to your diet can be a convenient way to complement your wellness goals to ensure you’re optimizing your nutritional intake.
Fish oil supplements are not only convenient, but they can also help you avoid harmful contaminants that may be found in fish. High-quality supplements undergo a purification process to remove these contaminants, providing a safer option. If you choose to eat fatty fish, make sure to choose those that are low in mercury, like salmon, anchovies, char and herring.
A combination of dietary sources and supplements can help ensure optimal nutrient intake. If you’re thinking of adding supplements to your wellness routine, consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice.
Our Supplement Testing Standards
As much as we look to traditional wisdom for inspiration, we adhere to a science-backed approach to set our testing standards. That’s one of the reasons we partner with third-party labs. We know unbiased testing and results are key to providing you with high-quality supplements you can trust.
Our omega-3 supplements undergo four stages of strict testing. First, we test the identity of the ingredients to ensure they aren’t diluted. Then we examine the purity of the ingredients so that our products don’t contain any contaminants like mercury. The third stage involves testing the strength of the active ingredients to make sure that they match what is stated on the label. And finally, we look at the composition of the ingredients to ensure they meet all the label specifications. We go through these layers of testing because we want you to trust the safety and efficacy of all our products.
Looking for new ways to prepare fish? We’ve rounded up our most popular fish recipes to help you up your intake. Explore our delicious picks and incorporate them into this week’s meal prep.
Easy Keto Fish Recipes You Can Make in a Flash
Purple Sweet Potato Salmon Sushi Roll
Keto Fish Cakes with Avocado Lemon Dipping Sauce
Keto Halibut Ceviche
Keto Spicy Tuna Sushi Burrito
Poached Cod in Tomato Broth
Salmon Onigiri Rice Balls
Salmon Protein Bowl With Broccoli and Leeks
Oven Baked Trout With Mustard Glaze
Fish oil supplements are generally safe for most people, but they can cause some side effects. Some of the most common side effects include fishy aftertaste, bad breath, heartburn and acid reflux. Most of these symptoms are mild and go away on their own. However, if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood-thinning medications, you should talk to your healthcare provider before taking fish oil supplements because of the increased risk of bleeding.
While there is no set recommendation for how much fish oil you should take, there are recommendations for total omega-3 intake, including EPA and DHA. For healthy adults, 250-500 milligrams of combined EPA and DHA per day is a common dosage12. However, you may want to increase your dose if you’re targeting a specific health condition. Speak to your healthcare provider to determine the correct dose for your lifestyle.
If you’re considering adding fish oil supplements to your wellness stack, make sure you choose the highest quality. Look for omega-3 supplements that are third-party certified to ensure the product is sustainable and free of contaminants. You can also verify the EPA and DHA amounts on the label to make sure they meet your needs. Only buy from a reputable brand that invests in the quality of the ingredients and testing procedures.
It depends. Even if you regularly eat fish, not all fish species contain the same amount of omega-3s, so it can be difficult to accurately monitor how much you’re getting in your diet. Plus, if you’re concerned about the quality of the fish you’re eating, you may want to take supplements to avoid contaminants. However, whether you should take fish oil supplements is based on your individual needs and dietary habits. Speak to your healthcare professional to discuss your options.
Fish oil is sensitive to heat, light and oxygen, so storing them properly is essential to maintaining their freshness and efficacy. Store your supplements in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources, like a pantry. You can even keep them in the fridge to extend their shelf life. Ensure you close the container properly after each use to minimize air exposure, which can lead to oxidation and spoilage. And finally, aways check the expiration date and discard any supplements that have expired.
Fish oil supplements are not a quick-fix solution. You may need to wait several weeks with consistent use before you notice any changes to your health. If you want to target a specific health goal, speak to a healthcare professional who can help you determine the right doses and monitor your progress over time.
If you’re on a plant-based diet and looking for an alternative to fish oil that provides omega-3 fatty acids, consider taking algae oil supplements. Algae oil is derived from marine algae and is a sustainable and vegan source of omega-3s, specifically EPA and DHA.
Fish oil and krill oil are both sources of omega-3 fatty acids, but they have some differences. Fish oil is derived from the body tissues of fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies, whereas krill oil comes from tiny shrimp-like marine crustaceans known as krill. Fish oil typically contains higher levels of both eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are the two primary omega-3 fatty acids. In terms of potential side effects, krill oil is less likely to cause fishy burps or gastrointestinal issues, making it more tolerable for some people. Both fish oil and krill oil can offer various health benefits, including supporting heart health, reducing inflammation and promoting brain function.