Should I Be Taking Fish Oil Supplements?

Q: I’ve heard a lot lately about the benefit of taking fish oil pills. Is there any truth to this?

A: There are numerous health benefits to increasing your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids:

• decrease risk of irregular heart beat
• decrease triglyceride levels
• decrease growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque in the arteries
• lower blood pressure (slightly)

The recommendation is to get your omega-3 fats from fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, and albacore tuna at least twice a week. Children and pregnant and nursing women may be at increased risk of exposure to the mercury in fish, so these recommendations would not be suitable for them. You can also get some of your omega-3 fats from tofu and other forms of soybeans, canola, walnuts and flaxseed, and their oils.

Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting

Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at

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Patricia H.
Patricia H.3 years ago

thanks for the info

J.L. A.
JL A.3 years ago

good info

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton3 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

carlee trent
carlee trent4 years ago


Kristen R.
Kristen R.5 years ago

Great article - thanks.

GreenseasKat C.
kathryn cook5 years ago


Vural K.
Past Member 6 years ago

Melissa Swanson
Melissa Swanson6 years ago

I'm vegan, so I use flax oil.

Fish oil is, IMO, not super safe due to the mercury concerns. Also, with the current issues of overfishing, I'd be leery of taking them if you're environmentally concerned.

I take a flaxseed oil supplement that has DHA from algae. After all, fish get their DHA from the algae they eat, so I cut out the middleman... er... fish. ;)

Spectrum makes a lot of great omega 3 supplements from flax or mixed oil sources. Borage and hemp are common in mixed blends.

Michelle Salisbury

Yes you should!! take fish oil suppliments! I use for many problems. It has helped my dry scaley winter skin, helps fight off colds and these benifits in this story just make me smile. I feel like I have a secret to share w/ others. So glad there is a gel cap that helps busy moms get some of what they need. Thanks for the info. If you don't take this one yet put it on your list!!