Taking supplements is a great and easy way to promote your health and protect your body. If you want to improve your immune system, you look for vitamin C or zinc. If you want to promote skin health, you take vitamin E. If you want to support your heart health you look for fish oil or omega-3s.
Navigating the difference between supplements and which are best for you can be overwhelming and confusing, especially when it comes to fish oil and omega-3s. These supplements are often mixed up, as both have a similar role and can protect against heart disease. However, they are not the same thing.
This guide breaks down key differences between fish oil and omega-3s, their job in the body, and if taking a supplement is right for you!
Let’s get started.
What is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is a dietary supplement containing two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids to help us meet our omega-3 needs. Fish oil comes from fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, sardines, salmon, and trout.
What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
While fish oil is a dietary supplement including some kinds of omega-3 fatty acids, it is not the same thing as omega-3s themselves! Omega-3s are a type of nutrient, and fish oil is a supplement that includes this nutrient.
Let’s talk about what characterizes omega-3s.
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids, which means that our bodies don’t make them on their own. Fatty acids are responsible for important cellular functions, energy storage and use, and also offer a realm of health benefits. Because they aren’t produced by the body, we need to find ways to incorporate them into our diets or take supplements!
There are three main types of omega-3s. EPA and DHA can be found in fish oil. ALA, however, can be found in flaxseed, soy, and canola oils. ALA can produce EPA and DHA, but this process isn’t very efficient and ends up using more energy than necessary, so supplementing your diet with fish oil is still important.
Why Invest in Fish Oil?
Americans spend more than one billion dollars on over-the-counter fish oil supplements each year, but let’s look at some of the reasons why so many invest their health in them!
1. Omega-3s have been shown to help lower blood pressure.
One of the biggest benefits of omega-3s found in fish oil supplements is the ability to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and even damage to the brain such as aneurysm and memory damage. Because of these risks of omega-3 deficiency, fish oil is a great way to protect yourself and support your cardiovascular health.
There are two important kinds of blood pressure that omega-3s can reduce: systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure of blood flowing through the arteries with each heartbeat. Diastolic blood pressure is the amount of pressure flowing through the arteries in between these contractions.
Omega-3s have been shown to help maintain both forms of blood pressure. Since omega-3s are not produced by the body, taking a fish oil supplement is a great and easy way to keep your blood pressure at healthy levels.
2. Omega-3s have been shown to slow the rate of plaque build up.
Plaque is a substance made of cholesterol, triglycerides, and calcium. When we consume too much fat or cholesterol, these substances travel through the blood and cause plaque to build up or accumulate in our arteries. Plaque buildup limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood through the body.
Fish oils and seafood are low in saturated fats and high in omega-3s. By taking a fish oil supplement, you can reduce this plaque buildup and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. This means they promote heart health and circulation while avoiding unnecessary fat buildup.
3. Omega-3s help lower triglyceride levels.
Omega-3s are commonly considered to promote heart health, and this is due mainly to their abilities to lower triglyceride levels in the blood. Triglycerides are fats that are what we refer to as “body fat,” and they’re found in our blood.
High levels of these fats can be dangerous as they may cling to artery walls and cause plaque buildup. As triglycerides cling to artery walls, the passage through the arteries gets narrower, and less blood is able to reach the heart and circulate through our bodies. This may increase the risk for heart attack, stroke, and coronary artery disease.
By supplementing omega-3s into your diet, you may be able to combat build up in the arteries, reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, improve circulation and blood flow through the body, and promote heart health and wellness!
4. Support brain health.
According to Harvard Health, an important role of omega-3 fatty acids is promoting growth and development of the brain. Deficiencies in omega-3s have been shown to correlate with some mood disorders and unmanaged inflammation in the brain. Fish oil is an easy way to ensure you get enough omega-3s to support your brain health.
6. Promote soothing throughout the body.
Omega-3s in fish oil have also been shown to help soothe irritation throughout the inside of the body, especially in specific pathways unique to healthy fats.
Tip: If you live with joint discomfort or struggle to manage your pain, combine a topical hemp-based pain reliever with a fish oil supplement in your daily routine. Our CBD relief cream, hemp-extract relief gummy, or hemp drops work with omega-3s to help soothe and relieve your body from the inside out.
Is Fish Oil Right For Me?
Your body needs omega-3 fatty acids to perform basic bodily functions. However, it doesn’t make these fatty acids itself, so it’s important to supplement fish oil into your diet or find another way to consume the recommended amount of omega-3s into your diet!
However, it is important to know that fish oil is not a cure for serious ailments or diseases. If you have new or worsening symptoms of any sickness, seek help from a medical professional right away! You can also talk to your doctor about starting a fish oil supplement and if this is right for you.
The most popular way to make sure you get the fish oil you need to thrive is by taking supplements! If you’re new to fish oil supplements, try taking Because Omega 3 Gel Caps. They contain fish oil and omega-3s to provide your body with all the fatty acids it needs. Take 1 gel cap 2-3 times a day when you eat a meal.
Talk to your doctor before beginning any new supplement to make sure it doesn’t interfere with any medications you’re on.
If you are taking medications that may interfere with fish oil or have a health condition that prevents you from taking fish oil or omega-3 supplements, there are easy alternatives. Many food sources offer the omega-3s you need so you can make sure you get what your body needs.
Here are some foods rich in omega-3s:
- Ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil
- Chia seeds
- Canola oil
- Soy oil and soybeans
- Some fortified foods such as eggs, yogurts, milk, and juices.
- Fish such as tuna, herring, salmon, mackerel, and sardines!
If you don’t commonly eat the foods listed above, it may be time to look into getting a supplement to take.
While fish oil and omega-3s have been considered by many to be interchangeable terms describing the same thing, the two have key differences!
The benefits of fish oil and omega-3s are abundant -- they promote heart health, brain health, and joint strength, while supporting overall health and wellness for the body. They also help ensure your body gets the amount of omega-3 fatty acids it needs to thrive!