Is fish oil really good for you?

Back in the day, people used to take their spoonful of codliver oil every day. My friend Susan thinks this was probably a good, healthy habit that we have now gotten rid of, generally speaking. Moreover, there’s a lot of talk I hear (as a mother of two little boys) about the benefits of fish oil. Maybe it’s good as preventative measure for: heart ailments; asthma; autism. What’s the scoop? Does anyone know if there’s any validity to this? They even sell cherry-flavored fish oil for children at our local fancy health-food store. If there is any validity to it, how much is an adult supposed to take on a daily basis? How about kids? Shari

You can get the same benefit from flax seeds, btw.


One recent meta-study found little benefit, but that it should “not be ruled out”. I guess the jury is still out.

My dietician said that the standard recommendation (YMMV, see your doctor, etc.) is 2000-4000 mg of combined EPA & DHA daily for adults. She also recommended fish oil rather than flax oil, since apparently your body needs to convert the ALA in flax oil to a more usable form.

I brought it up because it’s a good vegetarian option for those like me who don’t eat fish. :slight_smile:

Fish oil is one of the few supplements out there with scientific support for most of the claims about it. It’s definitely worth looking into.

The omega-3 composition of flax is similar but not exactly the same as fish oil. If you can’t/won’t eat fish for any reason, flax is a good source as long as you grind the seeds–like all other seeds, they really aren’t digested all that well.