Fish oil can be obtained from eating fish or by taking supplements. Fish that are especially rich in the beneficial oils known as Omega-3 fatty acids include anchovies, mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, cod liver, whale blubber, and seal blubber. Two of the most important omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Fish oil is FDA approved to lower triglycerides levels, but it is also used for many other conditions. It is most often used for conditions related to the heart and blood system. Some people use fish oil to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Fish oil has also been used for preventing heart disease or stroke, as well as for clogged arteries, irregular heartbeat, bypass surgery, heart failure, rapid heartbeat, preventing blood clots, and high blood pressure after a heart transplant.
How Does It Work?
Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA and EPA, work because they block inflammation pathways in the cell. They block not one but multiple pathways. Immune cells (macrophages) seem to be particularly sensitive to omega-3’s anti-inflammatory effects.