For the past few years, most US residents have turned to omega-3 fish oil supplements because they benefit healthy individuals and those with heart diseases. Omega-3 fish oil has docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Omega-3 fatty acids are vital nutrients necessary in preventing and managing heart diseases. Understanding the basics behind this supplement will help determine its consumer use, the supplement’s safety, and the cost of using this product.
The international fish oil market size was valued at $ 2,400.88 million in 2020. It was approximated to reach 3,777.22 million by 2028 (Fadhi et al., 2017). Fish oil is obtained from fish tissues with omega-three fatty acids (Parlotta et al., 2018). Omega-3 fatty acids are widely used in functional food, aquaculture, animal nutrition, and pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, fish oil helps improve the cardiovascular system and the proper functioning of the nervous system.
Major organizations and companies are now enlarging their nutraceutical product line by adding concentrated EPA and DHA. The demand for DHA and the EPA has increased significantly, impacting the global fish oil market (Parlotta et al., 2018). The omega-3 fatty acids obtained from fish oil help reduce chronic heart diseases in older people. However, older consumers are advised to take preventive measures regarding joint deterioration, eye, cognitive, and heart. The consumption of fish oil is expected to increase soon due to its awareness concerning its health benefits (Lin et al., 2019). Fish oil supplements can even enhance the mental health of individuals with depression (Parletta et al., 2019). The fish oil market is expected to witness robust growth as much of the international population is anticipated to fall in 65-demography (Li et al.,2019).
Fish oil consumption has the following claims and safety regarding the health of the consumers. First, improved absorption of EPA and DHA. According to Kara et al. (2018), emulsified fish oil consumption enhances the digestion and absorption of omega-3 fatty acids. The composition of cod liver oil facilitates the digestion and absorption of omega-3 fatty acids (Fadhil et al., 2017). The general population was assumed to be the target population. Kara et al. (2018) note that the effects of the claim related to the food constituents’ bioavailability (EPA and DHA) and not the relationship between health and food constituents as needed by regulation.
Maintenance of average blood concentrations of triglycerides was the second claim pointed out. The claim’s effects were normal cardiovascular function, heart health, cardiovascular health, cardiovascular system metabolism, and a reduction in triglycerides. The general population was assumed to be the target population. The authors pointed out that maintenance of normal blood concentrations of triglycerides can be a beneficial physiological effect. DHA and EPA’s claim regarding the maintenance of average blood concentration of triglycerides has already been accessed with a significant outcome. According to Gao et al. (2017), taking 2 g per day of DHA and EPA is necessary to get the claimed effect, and it can be consumed as part of a balanced diet.
Maintenance of average blood glucose concentrations was the last claim pointed out by Gao et al. Effects indicated were insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate metabolism. The findings targeted the general population. Researchers of this article depicted that long-term maintenance of average blood glucose concentrations is an advantageous physiological effect (Gao et al., 2017). There were no references offered where conclusions can be drawn for the scientific proof of the claim. Based on the data presented, the authors summarized that no cause and effect relationship had been established regarding intake of DHA and EPA and long-term maintenance of average blood glucose concentrations.
Since the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended 1,750mg EPA and DHA/w, which can be met by taking 8 ounces of seafood per week, many people experience difficulties achieving this recommendation through diet alone (Kara et al., 2018). Even though the health benefits of consuming fish oil may be straightforward, the content, purity, and price of DHA and EPA required for the recommended dosage may be confusing. Kara et al. (2018) investigated 14 randomly sampled dietary omega-3 supplements present in retail stores. Oils were extracted and prepared for analysis by gas chromatography. Levels of various fatty acids were quantified, and a cost analysis was done for each supplement, including EPA and DHA, on the retailer’s list prices per unit. The results obtained were as follows, there is variation in the content and price of fish oil pills available for consumers. DHA and EPA amounts ranged from 10mg/g EPA and DHA. The interpretation of price ranges from $0.04 per pill to $1.32 per pill (Kara et al., 2018).
In conclusion, fish rich in fish oil are known as omega-3 fatty acids, and the two most significant omega-3 fatty acids are DHA and EPA. Fish oil consumption is necessary for high levels of fats known as triglycerides in the blood. Fish oil consumption is also necessary to maintain average blood glucose concentration, which is a physiological benefit. In my opinion, people should learn the habit of consuming this supplement due to its numerous benefits discussed herein. Omega-3 was evaluated based on the price of DHA and EPA required for the recommended dosage of DHA and EPA, content, and purity.
Fadhil, A. B., Al-Tikrity, E. T., & Albadree, M. A. (2017). Biodiesel production from mixed non-edible oils, castor seed oil, and waste fish oil. Fuel, 210, 721–728.
Gao, H., Geng, T., Huang, T., & Zhao, Q. (2017). Fish oil supplementation and insulin sensitivity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lipids in Health and Disease, 16(1), 1–9.
Kara, K., Ouanji, F., Lotfi, E. M., El Mahi, M., Kacimi, M., & Ziyad, M. (2018). Biodiesel production from waste fish oil with high free fatty acid content from Moroccan fish-processing industries. Egyptian Journal of Petroleum, 27(2), 249–255.
Lin, Z., Chen, R., Jiang, Y., Xia, Y., Niu, Y., Wang, C., Liu, C., Chen, C., Ge, Y., Wang, W., & Yin, G. (2019). Cardiovascular benefits of fish-oil supplementation against fine particulate air pollution in China. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 73(16), 2076–2085.
Parletta, N., Zarnowiecki, D., Cho, J., Wilson, A., Bogomolova, S., Villani, A., Itsiopoulos, C., Niyonsenga, T., Blunden, S., Meyer, B., & Segal, L. (2018). A Mediterranean-style dietary intervention supplemented with fish oil improves diet quality and mental health in people with depression: A randomized controlled trial (HELFIMED). Journal of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, 37(1), 6–18.