Fish oil Vitamins and Supplements
About Fish Oil
Fish oils, also known as marine oils, are essential fatty acids (lipids) found in fish, particularly cold water fish, and other marine life such as phytoplankton. These oils are rich sources of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) of the n-3 (omega-3) type. The two most studied fish oil fatty acids are the 20 carbon eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and the 22-carbon docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Following ingestion EPA and DHA are transported by the circulatory system to various tissues of the body where they are used mainly for the synthesis of phospholipids. These phopholipids in turn are incorporated into the cell membranes of blood platelets, blood cells and central nervous system cells, as well as many others. DHA, in particular, is a vital component of the phospholipids which make up the cellular membranes of the brain and retina.
Most fish oil supplements are about 20 EPA and 10 DHA, or a total of 30 omega-3. These omega-3 fatty acids, unlike the omega-3 fatty acid found in flaxseed oil and other vegetable oils, help to keep blood triglycerides in check and may protect against atherosclerosis.