Fish oil stands out in the, ahem, sea of supplements because of the near magical powers the pills claim: That they’ll make you smarter, happier, healthier, and able to swim faster than a shark! But fish oil also has some … uh, fishy downsides. (We swear, that’s the last shitty pun we’ll use.) So if you’re thinking about jumping on joining the school of believers (we lied), know this before you start popping fish pills …
#1. Fish Oil Pills Aren’t As Effective As Eating Fish
While the pill bottle may claim it provides the same amount of fatty acids as found in a serving of fish, the pill doesn’t provide the vitamins, minerals, and other molecules. That’s why doctors suggest the real thing over of the supplement. “I recommend eating fish twice a week to get the benefits of the oils,” says Yoni Freedhoff, MD, assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Ottowa and author of the Weighty Matters blog.
#2. Fish Oil Might Keep You Looking Younger For Longer
Researchers at Ohio State University recently found that omega-3 supplements can lengthen the telomeres (which is found at the end of a chromosome and protects it from deteriorating) that usually shorten with age. Taking a supplement ensures you’ll get enough of the omega-3’s for the effect to take place. Other positive effects: reducing inflammation, heart-boosting brain function, and protecting your heart. But, again, eating real swimmers does the same thing.