Seafood is one of the best sources of health-promoting nutrients, including some that many people lack in their diet. Research shows that people who eat one to two servings fish like salmon per week reduce their heart disease risk by 36%.
However, only one third of Americans eat seafood weekly, and about half eat fish occasionally or never.
Salmon oil is made from the fish’s healthy fats, known as omega-3 fatty acids. Taking salmon oil is an excellent way to get these essential nutrients if you don’t eat fish frequently or avoid it altogether.
Salmon oil is available at many vitamin retailers. While clinical studies show that supplements like salmon oil are safe when taken as directed, all seafood has a risk of trace contaminants like heavy metals. Talk to your doctor before adding it to your diet and choose a reputable brand.
A 3-gram serving of salmon oil contains:
- Calories: 25
- Protein: 0 grams
- Fat: 3 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
These omega-3s are only available in seafood. They can reduce the risk of heart disease and may promote healthy joints and brain function.
Potential Health Benefits of Salmon Oil
Adding salmon oil to your diet can help you get enough of these health-boosting nutrients. It may also offer other health benefits like:
Salmon oil also increases “ good ” (HDL) cholesterol levels. This helps clear your arteries of “ bad ” (LDL) cholesterol that can build up in your blood vessels over time. HDL cholesterol also promotes strong and flexible artery walls. This supports healthy heart function and lowers disease risk.
Lower Risk of Chronic Disease
Salmon oil’s omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties. While inflammation is your body’s natural response to stress and infection, high levels over time raise your risk of chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.
By helping to reduce inflammation, research shows a diet high in omega-3s can help protect against these and other inflammation-related diseases.
One study found that the omega-3s in salmon oil can improve your body’s blood flow and oxygen circulation. The effect is stronger compared to other omega-3 sources. Scientists think this is because the body converts omega-3s into nitric oxide, a substance that helps your blood vessels stay relaxed, flexible, and strong.
Salmon oil is one of the best available sources of DHA. While research is ongoing, studies show that this omega-3 helps repair and maintain brain cells. Getting enough of this fatty acid in your diet may reduce your risk of cognitive decline, including conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Potential Risks of Salmon Oil
Salmon oil supplements are typically safe. However, you’ll want to choose a reputable brand to ensure a product is well-sourced and free from additives. Talk to your doctor before adding it to your diet.
Salmon oil does come with some potential risks including:
Heavy Metal Contamination
All seafood has some contamination risk from toxins like heavy metals present in the water. Studies find only small or trace amounts in salmon oil, but only high doses may cause serious health issues. Some research suggests that farmed salmon may have less contaminant risk.
Some people have an allergy to finned fish, including salmon. If you have shellfish allergies, you may be able to consume salmon safely. However, be careful to choose a salmon oil that has no risk of cross-contamination with shellfish.
Omega-3 supplements can interact with blood-thinning medications.