Fish oil is oil derived from the tissues of oily fish. Fish oils contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, precursors of certain eicosanoids that are known to reduce inflammation in the body and improve hypertriglyceridemia.
Omega-3 fatty acids play important roles in brain function, normal growth and development, and inflammation. Deficiencies have been linked to a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, some cancers, mood disorders, arthritis, and more. But that doesn’t mean taking high doses translates to better health and disease prevention.
Fish oil supplements have been promoted as easy way to protect the heart, ease inflammation, improve mental health, and lengthen life. Such claims are one reason why Americans spend more than $1 billion a year on over-the-counter fish oil. And food companies are adding it to milk, yogurt, cereal, chocolate, cookies, juice, and hundreds of other foods.