We've long known that eating cold water fatty fish like mackerel, salmon and tuna have lots of health benefits. Just a couple times a week lessens the risk of heart attack and stroke. those Omega 3 fatty acids lower triglycerides, reduce abnormal heart rhythms, slow the "hardening of arteries", and even lowers blood pressure.
But can you get the same benefits from the supplements? The short answer appears to be yes. Several studies reveal many of the same benefits as eating the real thing... but to maximum effectiveness and minimize side effects you need to read labels. Make sure you stick with brands that are tested for mercury. The most common complaint from patients is bad breath and some uncomfortable "fish burps".
Take the supplements as directed because high dosages appear to increase the risk of bleeding and may compromise your immune function.
I still think the best way to get those critical Omega-three fatty acids is by eating the right kinds of fish... broiled or baked... the body's absorption rate is higher.
Fish oil is one of the few supplements I recommend... because there's plenty of evidence to show there's nothing fishy about the claims they make. So my verdict... those translucent little pills are not hype at all. In fact... they can be a very big help.