font size

Fish Oil


What other names is Fish Oil known by?

Aceite de Pescado, Acides Gras Oméga-3, Acides Gras Oméga 3, Acides Gras Oméga 3 Sous Forme Ester Éthylique, Acides Gras N-3, Acides Gras Polyinsaturés N-3, Acides Gras W3, ACPI, Cod Liver Oil, EPA/DHA Ethyl Ester, Ester Éthylique de l'AEP/ADH, Fish Body Oil, Herring Oil, Huile de Foie de Morue, Huile de Hareng, Huile de Menhaden, Huile de Poisson, Huile de Saumon, Huile de Thon, Huile Lipidique Marine, Huile Marine, Huiles Marines, Lipides Marins, Marine Lipid Concentrate, Marine Fish Oil, Marine Lipid Oil, Marine Lipids, Marine Oil, Marine Oils, Marine Triglyceride, Menhaden Oil, N-3 Fatty Acids, N3-polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, Omega 3, Oméga 3, Omega-3, Oméga-3, Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ethyl Ester, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Omega-3 Marine Triglycerides, PUFA, Salmon Oil, Triglycérides Marins, Tuna Fish Oil, Tuna Oil, W-3 Fatty Acids.

What is Fish Oil?

Fish oil can be obtained from eating fish or by taking supplements. Fish oil supplements are usually made from mackerel, herring, tuna, halibut, salmon, cod liver, whale blubber, or seal blubber.

Is Fish Oil effective?

Fish oils can significantly reduce blood levels of a kind of fat called triglycerides. This might help lower the chance of developing heart disease.

There is some scientific evidence that fish oils might have other benefits for the heart. Fish oils seem to help to prevent a second heart attack if started within hours of the first attack and continued for a year. Fish oils might also lower blood pressure in some people who have high blood pressure.

Fish oils might also be helpful for rheumatoid arthritis. People with rheumatoid arthritis seem to be less stiff in the morning if they take fish oils.

There is also some evidence that fish oils can help prevent migraine headaches in some people.

However, fish oils do not help atherosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries." They also do not seem to help for some other conditions people use them for such as gum infections, lupus, kidney or liver disease, or leg pain due to blood flow problems.

There isn't enough information to know if fish oils are effective for the other conditions people use them for, including: asthma, cancer, lung disease, hay fever, cystic fibrosis and many more.

Effective for...

  • Lowering fats called triglycerides.

Likely Effective for...

  • Preventing heart disease and heart attacks.

Possibly Effective for...

  • High blood pressure.
  • Heart failure.
  • Reducing stiffness and pain related to rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea).
  • Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.
  • Abnormal sensitivity to cold (Raynaud's syndrome).
  • Preventing stroke. Moderate fish consumption (once or twice a week) seems to lower stroke risk, but very high fish consumption might increase stroke risk.
  • Osteoporosis, alone or in combination with calcium and evening primrose oil.
  • Preventing hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
  • Preventing kidney problems.
  • Bipolar disorder.
  • Depression, when taken with conventional antidepressant medications.
  • Weight loss.
  • Endometrial cancer.
  • Preventing eye disease (age-related maculopathy).
  • Reducing the risk of blood vessel re-blockage after heart bypass surgery or "balloon" catheterization (balloon angioplasty).
  • Preventing recurrent miscarriage in pregnant women with antiphospholipid syndrome.
  • Preventing high blood pressure and kidney problems after heart transplant.
  • Preventing damage to the kidneys and high blood pressure caused by taking a drug called cyclosporine.
  • Improving movement disorders in children, in combination with evening primrose oil, thyme oil, and vitamin E (Efalex).
  • Preventing blockage of grafts used in kidney dialysis. Psoriasis when used intravenously.
  • Lowering cholesterol.
  • Slowing weight loss in patients with advanced cancer.
  • Asthma in children.
  • Developmental coordination disorder.
  • Dry eye syndrome.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Gum infection (gingivitis).
  • Liver disease.
  • Leg pain due to blood flow problems (claudication).
  • Preventing migraine headaches.
  • Preventing muscle soreness caused by physical exercise.
  • Breast pain.
  • Skin rashes caused by allergic reactions.
  • Stomach ulcers.
  • Loss of appetite in people with advanced cancer.

Likely Ineffective for...

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Medical Dictionary