Fish oil has been used around the world for centuries, as fishing communities have always been aware of its many uses and benefits. In the modern world, fish oil came to prominence thanks to a study of the Inuit people of Greenland in the 1970s. Their very low incidence of heart disease was attributed to their high fat fishy diet; this in turn led to the discovery and understanding of omega-3 fatty acid.
Fish oil comes from the tissues of oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna and herring. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA. Numerous health claims are made for omega-3; there is strong evidence for some, while others are more disputed.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help reduce the symptoms of ADHD, anxiety and depression, and studies are underway into its effects in preventing or treating degenerative brain diseases. Omega-3 is also believed to help boost all round cognitive function.
Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation, and may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic disorders. Omega-3 may reduce cholesterol levels and also protect bone density, particularly in menopausal women.