Way back in the 1970s, Danish researchers Hans Olaf Bang and Jorn Dyerberg studied the Inuit population in Greenland and found that despite their meals full of marine fish fat and whale blubber, they had a very low concentration of triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins or the bad cholesterol in the blood. The polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in fish fat is what made the Inuit somewhat immune to death by heart disease, concluded the two researchers. That’s when fish oil took off as the must-have nutritional supplement for Americans.
Some Fats Are Good, Such As The Omega-3 Fats
These PUFAs or omega-3 fatty acids include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), two of the three essential omega-3 fatty acids the body cannot produce and must derive from food sources like fish or fish oil, the third one being alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), derived from plant sources like nuts and seeds. The human body can convert some of the ALA into EPA and DHA but not efficiently or in sufficient quantities
You Find Omega-3 In Fish And Fish Oil
Of course, whole fish is most beneficial. But these days, fish also contains a high level of mercury in thanks to pollution. Hence, the oil extracted from the tissues of cold-water oily fish like mackerel, sardine, late trout, herring, albacore tuna, and salmon, which is sold as syrups or pills, remains the source of choice for these omega-3 fatty acids.
Until recently, fish oil was touted to be a panacea thanks to its omega-3 content, but more and more findings suggest that it may not be an absolute champion after all. Let’s take a look at the purported health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids.