Experimenting with Omega-3 Supplements

A while back I read a post by Ryan Holiday (the author of “The Obstacle is the way”, among others) in which he wrote that he takes “8-10 1,000mg fish oil pills” per day. Having grown hearing that Omega-3 oil had many benefits for your health and remembering taking daily doses of “Emulsión de Scott” (as was known in Venezuela), a Cod Liver Oil syrup with orange flavor, I decided to read more into the topic and try to decide if taking any fish oil supplements at this stage of my life would make any sense.

In his article Ryan cites a blog with multiple articles describing the experiences of a man self-experimenting with fish oil supplements to combat his wife’s post-partum depression and his kid’s ADHD. The articles are very enlightening and provide a small example that in the right circumstances such supplements seem to provide certain benefits. But, of course one example doesn’t mean much and it turns out that the benefits of fish oil supplements is a well-studied topic where debate abounds.

There seems to be a consensus that Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for us but that we might be better off getting our daily doses directly from our food (e.g. fish, seeds, etc.) rather than through supplements not least because there is a risk that the supplements contain oxidised fish oil which is definitely not good for us.

Having said this, I’ve started experimenting with fish oil in my daily routine. For the past month I’ve been taking a single daily dose of Viva Naturals Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplement (I used Labdoor to choose the brand). Also, after watching this post by Tim Ferriss, I’ve been trying to include canned sardines into my breakfast. They are amongst the safest fish to eat since they are at the bottom of the food chain (so the concentration of heavy metals is minimal) and they are amongst the fish with the highest omega-3 content.

So far I haven’t noticed any clear change but I’ve noticed that some days that I skip the supplement (usually becuase I forget) I find myself unable to concentrate for long periods of time, especially after a long day. Of course, this might all be correlated to something else so I can’t claim anything beneficial.

In the long run I’ll probably stop consuming the supplements and will incorporate more fish into my diet and more seeds and nuts as well.