Busting Omega-3 Fish Oil Myths

Another nutritionist who has been a lifelong friend of mine has a funny quip about medical myths. She says, “The definition of a medical myth is something that was never true, and always will be.” That comes to mind when I think about fish oil myths.

I am often amused by people’s reactions when I offer them a sample of fish oil. I have had adults run away from me, like a kid being offered a big bite of cabbage. Wide eyes, a wrinkled nose, head shaking side to side, saying uh, uh, no way!

This is almost always due to preconceived expectations about the smell or taste of fish oil. Sometimes it brings back a memory of a childhood spoonful of fish oil, which was produced before technology made fresh tasting fish oil possible.

Fifty years ago, fish oils tasted pretty awful. But today, high-quality fish oils should never taste fishy or smell bad. Especially if you are buying the very best. Carlson fish oils are purified and bottled right at the source – at our facility in Norway.

They are stabilized with antioxidants and are given a nitrogen flush to remove oxygen and to help prevent oxidation. They taste fresh, never fishy and are available in delicious lemon or orange flavors. They are so pleasant, that they can even be served over salads or popcorn, or in smoothies.

A second myth or misconception is that fish oils increase the risk of adverse bleeding events and cannot be used by people who might be on medication. This is simply not true. Fish oils do not thin the blood. They support healthy clotting so wounds can heal.

Finally, some people are concerned that the production of fish oils is resulting in a disruption to the environment of the oceans by overfishing vulnerable species of fish. This is an issue that is carefully reviewed by the World Health Organization’s Food and Agriculture Organization who oversees the management of fisheries to ensure sustainability of this extremely important resource going forward.

Careful management means there will always be plenty of fish in our seas. The Food and Agriculture Organization Director has this to say: “Since 1961, the annual global growth in fish consumption has been twice as high as population growth, demonstrating that the fisheries and aquaculture sector is crucial in meeting FAO’s goal of a world without hunger and malnutrition.”