Is Fish Oil Good For You? Yes – And No
Fish oil is good for you, but not necessarily all the time
Is fish oil good for you? That’s a good question. As this website is all about the health benefits of the Omega 3 fatty acids contained in fish oil you’d think it would be fair to assume that we would answer yes, that taking fish oil is good for you.
And we do, but with a qualification.
Firstly there is no doubt that fish oil is good for you, in most cases. There is clear evidence about the heart health benefits of increasing your intake of the essential fatty acids DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid). There is solid scientific research demonstrating that you may well reduce your risk of getting cardiovascular disease by increasing your intake of the Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil, and this evidence is significant enough that the American Heart Association tells us all to make sure we eat enough fish.
And whilst it’s quite clear that more fish oil is good for your heart, there is also good evidence that fish oil is good for you in other areas of your health as well.
Of course like all these things there are degrees. It’s almost impossible to say when something is sufficiently proven to be proven. Even in mainstream medical matters you’ll find huge disagreements amongst the health benefits of a whole range of different therapies, pharmaceuticals and more.
But it’s probably fair to say that the evidence in support of the conclusion that increasing your intake of fish oil is sufficiently strong, at least in the case of improving your heart health.
But here’s the qualification. Whilst fish oil might be good for your heart it might not be good for everything.
We say that because today we have been reading a report suggesting that, for some people, taking more fish oil might not be good for you at all.
Whilst there is evidence that increasing your intake of fish oil might produce some preventative effect against certain cancers there is now a study suggesting that anyone who is already suffering from cancer, and who is undergoing chemotherapy as a result, might perhaps be better advised not to take fish oil supplements.
This study, done in the University Medical Centre in Utrecht in Holland, has concluded that taking fish oil supplements may well help reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
In other words the Omega 3 fats prevent the chemicals used in chemotherapy from working as effectively.
In the study fish oil was given 22 to mice which were given cancer treatment. These mice suffer from tumors, and therefore were given chemotherapy to see whether or not there was any impact from feeding them fish oil supplements.
And the result was that feeding fish oil to mice during chemotherapy created a resistance to the chemotherapy.
Of course, as we noted before, it’s always hard to know when something is proven. Does this study mean that all patients undergoing chemotherapy should stop taking fish oil supplements? We don’t know, it all needs further study.
But it’s certainly food for thought.
So, is fish oil good for you? Yes, but not in all cases. If you’re likely to be undergoing chemotherapy to cancer have a good chat to your doctor about it.
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