I'll start by saying that fish oil pills have really improved the condition of my nails. They have always been strong, but now they grow extremely fast and look wonderful - no hangnails.
The reason I started taking fish oil pills, however, was for my skin. Unfortunately I can't tell if they are helping or hurting my skin as it is still breaking out. I've decided to try to only use products that contain natural ingredients or ingredients that are classified as non-comedogenic and non-irritating. This list has been very helpful to me when choosing products:
I have stopped taking fish oil pills and will update if I notice any difference in my skin.
UPDATE: Saw my sister this weekend (who has always been blessed with nice skin - very rarely any breakouts), and she made the comment that she hadn't had time to use foundation that morning. I was shocked because her skin looked even more amazing than usual. She told me that she had been taking B5 supplements, cod liver pills and fish oil pills. Since I am in the process of my skincare "experiment" I'm not jumping to try anything else, but it's definitely something to keep in mind for the future.
UPDATE #2: My skin is already looking much better since I stopped the fish oil. I have also been using benzoyl peroxide nightly because I was desperate to clear up my skin fast. If my skin continues to clear I do not think I will add the fish oil pills back into my skincare routine.
In response to bandabug's post, I also have had a strange rash on my neck on and off for about 7 months. It never occurred to me that the omega oils might be to blame!
I take them because they seem to help with my acne-prone skin. Next time, I'll be careful to observe what happens when I take this pill by Jamieson, the omega 3-6-9. Thanks for pointing this out.
Update Dec 4 2010- I now use Nutra-Sea (omega 3) with vitamin D. My naturopath and chiropractor both recommended it. After 3 months of semi-daily use, I have had no negative reactions to it.
These are very helpful videos on Omega 3.
Why you need Nordic Omega 3 fish oils (1-5).
Choosing the right omega 3 oil
I will update this.
More info: What are the side effects of fish oil supplements?
Fish oil supplements are dietary supplements that contain oil from cold water fish such as mackerel, salmon, black cod, albacore tuna, sardines, and herring. The active ingredients in fish oil supplements are essential fatty acids known as omega-3 fatty acids. They typically include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
The most commonly reported side effects of fish oil supplements include fishy odor on the breath, upset stomach, and greasy stools. A more serious side effect can be an increase in LDL-cholesterol, a harmful form of cholesterol. Large doses of fish oil supplements may also cause weight gain and decrease the absorption of vitamins A, E, D, and K from the stomach. If you have diabetes, use caution when taking fish oil supplements, as they’ve been known to increase blood sugar.
Cod liver oil should not be used as a fish oil supplement because it contains very high levels of vitamin A. High doses of vitamin A can cause headache, dry skin, itching, and liver damage.
References:Fasching, P. "Fish Oil Supplementation Versus Gemfibrozil Treatment in Hyperlipidemic NIDDM. A Randomized Crossover Study," Hormonal and Metabolic Research 28 (1996).Gray, D.R. "Fish Oil As An Adjuvant in the Treatment of Hypertension," Pharmacotherapy 16 (1996).
I have been using Nature's Made Omega 3 fish oil pills along with B12 and I do have to say that my nails and hair are growing out of control.
I have not had any breakouts, besides my monthly one's, nor have I seen a vast improvement in my skin. But for the fact that my nails grow strong ang beautifully along with my hair and the health benefits I will continue to take these.
I have to share what happened to me once I began taking fish oil pills. I bought them because I have very thin, weak nails and fine, lackluster hair -- I figured the fish oil would give both a boost. After a few weeks of taking the pills as directed on the bottle, my hair, skin and nails actually showed some improvement and I was very pleased. Fast forward another month, I develop weird itchy hive-like rashes on my neck and arms. I NEVER get rashes; I don't have sensitive skin. I didn't change anything else in my routine aside from the addition of fish oil. It took me awhile to put 2 and 2 together. Finally, I stopped taking the pills. My symptoms disappeared and my skin returned to normal very quickly. Has anyone else had this experience with fish oil? I wasn't taking large doses or anything, therefore I hesitate to recommend them to anyone based on my experience.
i've been taking the nordic naturals brand fish oil pills for over 3 months now and i'm very happy! my main reason for starting fish oil pills was to help with my severe pms and help ease hormonal breakouts.....and i feel this has indeed helped. i have never had any fish burps from this brand either. also this is the only brand i've tried. i take 2/day with meals, which is a serving size, and this provides 690 mg of omega 3s. my chin/jaw has suffered a lot from hormonal breakouts and these little gems have really helped control them nicely. as for pms...i think it has helped some. my nails have always been fine, so i can't really see a difference in them, nor with my hair really....it's pretty healthy anyway. but since my breakouts have lessened in severity a lot, i will continue taking these! a one month supply of this brand costs about $14 at whole foods. you can also buy a bigger jar and save some $.
These didn't do anything for me other than make my hair greasy. I might try another brand, due to all the glowing reviews, but right now, I'm not happy. UPDATE: After trying out a new brand from my health food store, I've actually noticed a big improvement, just during the past week. My skin looks amazing, and my nails are beautiful. I also have noticed a great improvement with my mood, my attention span is better, and I feel all around happier. These are beauty pills! :) I keep mine in the freezer, otherwise the fish burps get me.
I feel I need to weigh in here, given the fact that these have altered my life so dramatically. I am 50 years old, chugging through the last stages of perimenopause, and most significantly, I have severe arthritis in both knees. So severe in fact, I was considering getting a handicap placard for my car.
Rewind the tape to November 2006, when I was in a health food store, and asked the woman on duty what I could do for my severe perimenopause mood swings. She turned me onto Nordic Naturals Omegas 3,6,9. They worked!
Long story short: within a month, my arthritis pain was greatly diminished to the point I rarely needed pain killers -- and I had been popping handfuls a day, followed by a Maalox chaser.
As I resumed exercise, I found that I had breakthrough pain, and learned that it was the EPA in fish oil that was the anti-inflmmatory. So, I bought the high EPA fish oil from then on.
In addition to the reduction in pain, my hair is thicker and shinier, my nails are stronger and shinier, and no one -- NO ONE believes I am 50. I actually had to tell someone to touch my face, because she was sure I was wearing foundation when I wasn't. The fine lines under my eyes are GONE. That leaves me to believe that someone with oily, acne-prone skin might break out.
There is evidence that fish oil can help with heart health, skin health, eye health, colo-rectal health, and mental health -- especially depression. There is clinical proof it can mitigate some of the symptoms of autoimmune diseases. (See the Maroon and Bost book on Fish Oil)
Buy the kind with lemon oil added and store in the fridge for less fish-belching. Give it at least three months before you reject it.
Side effects can be rugged. Fish oil can make GERD worse, and can make you bruise easily. In my case, my blood has thinned, which is good for my heart, but bad for clotting. Cuts bleed longer than usual.
I prefer Nordic Naturals and GNC Ultra -- hence my "3"'s, in the rating. Those scores depend on the brand you buy. Don't buy cheap.
Just wanted to make a suggestion... I was told to keep the fish oil capsules in the freezer, which I do, and I've never had a single fish burp!
I'm currently using Spring Valley's Fish, Flax, Borage Oil softgels. The bottle states: contains Omega 3, 6, 9. I buy these at WalMart. It's essential to get all three 3, 6, 9 omega's in your diet, not just omega 3. Since using this about 3 months ago, I have noticed significant difference in my overall health, especially energy. It has caused my hair to become more oily, and don't consider that any major problem. It has also brought back "some" oil into my dry perimenopausal skin.
Like with most supplements, I don't care for the taste ( I can't swallow pills ) and leaves a less than desirable after taste. That was the same with the regular fish supplements, except there was more burping. I also use Spring Valley's CO-Q10 supplements and WalMart's Womans Essential Daily vitamins. Still, you can't live on McDonald hamburgers and expect a supplement to be the cure all. Healthy eating is first and foremost!
Update: Since my review, I have noticed some people expect this to be the "cure-all" for various health issues. Give me a break. That's not going to happen. You can't rely solely on a supplement/vitamin to replace a prescription or poor eating habits ( probally both ). Hence, my comment about McDonald hamburgers.
I experience solar keratosis and my supplements ( listed above ) have aided in clearing some of that. Still, I have to use sunscreen, eat right and get proper rest/sleep. If, my keratosis were to get worse, I would have to rely on a prescription, not a supplement. I would hope that the negative reviews, aren't judging the positive one's. I feel, we are only relating our experience, and not promoting a "miracle" product.