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Fish Oil Supplement Health Claims

Fish oil has gained prominence for its cardiovascular benefits, as well as its ability to improve symptoms of anxiety. Essential fatty acids such as BHA and EPA are often derived from your diet, but if loading up on salmon isn’t your thing, fish oil supplements can be a great option to reach adequate quantities of omega 3 fatty acids. But, what do the health claims on most common fish oil supplements mean -- and are they actually supported?

Maintenance of Vision

Many fish oil supplements or vegan omega 3 alternatives claim to aid your vision and slow age or strain-related deterioration.

While it’s important to note that supplements should not claim to reverse or prevent diseases, there is some evidence to support the use of omega 3 fatty acids to improve overall eye health. Current research suggests taking fish oil supplements may be especially beneficial to people with dry, tired, or irritated eyes, as the supplements can bolster the efforts of the meibomian glands on the edge of the eyelid and improve the eye’s oil film.

Normal Brain Function

Fish oil has also been touted for its potential as a memory-boosting agent, and even as a tool to reduce anxiety. It is generally agreed that diets low in omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, tend to be accompanied by memory and mood problems.

Mild memory loss and symptoms of depression or anxiety may all be improved by taking in more fatty acids, especially through a fish oil supplement. These supplement claims are supported by research in people and on animals, examining the changes to behavioral and cognitive performance following enriched diets (you can read more, here.)

Normal Heart Function

Cardiovascular concerns are a central part of fish oil supplement claims, and recent research by the FDA suggests it’s for good reason.

A five-year research effort, begun in 2014, culminated with the FDA approving qualified claims on omega-3’s and their effect on high blood pressure and subsequent chronic heart diseases.

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