Original review written 2007: NOTE: DO NOT NOT *NOT* take omega 6's! You get plenty of 6 in your diet, simple homework will reveal that your body needs BALANCED levels of omega 3:6:9 and taking the 3/6/9 supplements will OFFSET the 3 to 6 ratio and cause more HARM then good! PLEASE do not make the mistake of not doing your research, anyone who says otherwise has not bothered to take a moment and check what they are doing to themselves!
With that said, I have been taking Omega 3's (NatureMade) for a couple months now and it has become a staple in my routine for skincare...not only that but nail care too! My flaky nails and hangnail prone fingers no longer have either problem at all, they are very strong and have a pretty sheen. My hair and nails grow faster - but moreso than anything - it helps control my cystic acne. I stopped taking these for a couple of days while on a trip and BIG MISTAKE - huuuge zits less than a couple days later and now I am fighting them off again. No more skimping on my omegas. I highly recommend taking the odorless ones...they are more expensive but eliminate any possibility of fish burps and have no smell or taste. I put them in the fridge because it helps extend their shelf life. I wouldnt freeze them tho, like someone else mentioned. Anyway - definitely recommended.
.. Just a suggestion, I buy the brand "nature made" from CVS, only the odorless "no fish burps" type though. Theyre in a yellow bottle.
***UPDATE*** 4/11/09: I switched over to the liquid form shortly after writing this review in hopes that I could benefit from the smaller quantity req'd for the same effect. I also went with cod liver oil (still omega 3) Carlson's Lemon flavor, because cod liver has vitamin D which I find necessary to stabilize my mood in winter months when I cannot get much natural sun light. Anyway, after using almost the entire bottle I decided to try freezing it out of curiousity, and to my horror it FROZE which leads me to believe either a) it went bad at some point or b) it is not a great product. I am sort of beside myself now about taking it, but plan on it in some form because it helps in so many ways. I am acne prone and it did not exacerbate my condition, but rather it calmed it down quite a bit in conjunction with saw palmetto berry to regulate my hormones. Just thought I would add that.
And, FYI to anyone who's noticed this unfortunate effect, some types of lower end pills will make your private parts smell fishy. Be warned...you get what you pay for.
On that note: I do still recommend it very much. But do your homework, and if you do buy the pill form, freeze them so the fish burps are rectified.
I use Nordic Naturals Complete Omega 3-6-9 fish oil pills, one in the morning and one at night. This is a high quality brand that was recommended by my doctor and does run a little pricier than grocery brands---plus side there is not fishy smell or taste whatsoever!! It is important to be careful about just taking Omega 3 or 9 alone because one thins the blood and one thickens it (think emergency situation) so this one is great because its the combo. First thing that was very noticeable was my hair, I could never grow it out before because its fine and thin and flat, but I was getting married and determined to grow it long just for the special day. With these pills my hair not only grew faster it was thicker and healthier than ever before!! No one can believe it, now I get approached about how beautiful my long shiny hair is, and my family thinks I got extensions. My skin hasn't been as noticeable, but it definitely did not get worse and I am very acne prone. My husband just got a checkup for his allergies and they recommended the same pills (for general health not allergies). I was worried about the monthly cost getting pretty expensive so I did some investigating and it turns out you can get a huge bottle on Amazon for a great deal! Its worth a try, go for quality it makes the difference!!
Me: 22 years old, not always as healthy an eater as I should be, but avid about my exercise and always looking for things to boost energy and muscle tone.
The product: Omega 3 in general, but Carlson's Very Finest Fish Oil (lemon flavor) in particular. I buy this online, usually from the Vitamin Shoppe, and take 1-2 teaspoons a day...usually about 1.5 teaspoon. The cool thing about taking liquid fish oil is you can decide exactly how much you want to take every day. I get the 16.7 ounces in a big, hefty glass bottle, for around $25 including shipping. To be honest, the taste isn't that good and the texture is, of course, oily...in fact, taking it straight up can make me gag. I usually mix it in something else. But the upside is it tastes ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like fish at all. I do get some "repeating" but I wouldn't call it fish burps...more like lemon burps.
One of the best ways to gauge whether your fish oil is fresh and effective is to put some of it in the freezer. Good fish oil should NOT freeze. I'm happy to say that my Carlson's didn't freeze even when I wish it would've - swallowing a fish oil ice cube would be easier than taking it plain!
Another good thing about this product line is they come fortified with vitamin E. Omega-3 requires vitamin E to work properly or it will be unstable and ineffective. In fact, not only will it not work as well, but it will also drain vitamin E from your own body's stock to work half as well as fish oil that comes with vitamin e in the liquid/capsule.
My experience: One of the things I can say for absolute certain is my weight management is a lot easier with vitamin E. I'm a person who watches and calculates my weight and intake every single day. Even when I go through a day of junk food and laziness I record everything I ate and my weight too...and I've definitely been losing more with omega-3s. This is with exercise, yes (at least 3 miles of walking a day), but that was something I did before taking these. Less easier to measure and yet significant for me is the improvement I've seen in my skin and hair, both of which are more balanced since I've begun. The dry areas of my face are more hydrated and the oily areas are more matte. My hair suffers the same combo, with an oily, itchy scalp and brittle, dry hair. Both have come closer to a happy medium.
I can't and wouldn't say that omega-3s are a miracle, but my supplement has become an essential and integral part of my daily regimen and I can't imagine not taking them anymore!
Great product for both health and beauty. But remember to check your bottle for USP CERTIFIED or USP VERIFIED to ensure you are getting quality, clean, healthy oils :)
I tried to make this review easier to read by using bullet points and double spacing, but the MUA just smooshed it all together, sorry about that.
Let's talk about Fish Oil...
-Cool Benefit #1 -Fat Loss
-One study done by the Nutritional Physiology Research Group in Australia showed that omega-3 enriched fish oil combined with exercise provides significantly greater fat loss benefits than exercise or fish oil alone. And this study was performed on real live fat people, not chubby rats.
-Omega-3s can increase insulin sensitivity, which leads to less fat storage and more fat release. Omega-3s also increase the heat of your cellular "furnaces," making these little organelles burn up more energy. Not only that, omega-3s allow the body to burn fat at times when fat burning is normally inhibited, like after a carby meal.
-Cool Benefit #2 -Overall Health and Longevity
-So let's start with the big stuff: heart disease and cancer. These population thinners, in one form or another, wipe out about 50% of us.
-Omega-3 fatty acids make the blood less likely to form clots that cause heart attacks. They can also protect against irregular heartbeats that cause sudden cardiac death. Omega-3s can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease through these mechanisms too: decreased triglyceride levels, decreased growth of atherosclerotic plaque, improved arterial health, and lower blood pressure.
-Additionally, omega-3s might be able to zap existing cancer cells by starving them of linoleic acid. They can also upregulate the genetic material necessary for the destruction of cancer cells andblock adhesion of cancer cells to other healthy cells.
-CLA may also be important here. In animal studies, CLA seemed to literally erase certain types of tumors. In human studies, subjects using CLA showed a marked decrease in triglyceride levels and a significant drop in fasting blood sugar levels. CLA may also bind to receptors the same way as some anti-diabetes drugs. It's even been shown to reduce arterial plaques by 30 percent.
-Cool Benefit #3 -Mental Health & Brain Health
-Some recent research has shown that taking a daily fatty acid supplement may boost the effectiveness (or even replace) antidepressants in some people. Depressed people who added omega-3s to their treatment showed less anxiety, fewer sleeping problems, less overall sadness, and fewer sexual problems.
-Even for non-depressed people, it may offer mood elevating properties.
-Other research has shown that a daily dose can dramatically improve the behavior of unruly children and help develop their concentration and language skills.
-Has been shown to reduce tension and stress in adults.
-The "mood stabilizing" effects have such potential that omega-3s have been used in the treatment of bipolar disorder.
-May help improve memory.
-May also help in the treatment of Alzheimer's, ADHD, and autism.
-Researchers in Scotland have found that people who take FFA score 13% higher on IQ tests.
-Cool Benefit #4 -Miscellaneous Grab Bag O' Goodness
-Since asthma, like heart disease, is also a disease characterized by inflammation, functional fatty acids could help.
-May help improve digestion and elimination.
-May help increase sex drive.
-Omega-3s in fish oil protect the eye from two serious eye diseases: age-related macular degeneration and dry-eye syndrome.
-May help boost the immune system.
-Supplements were found to protect the skin from harmful UV rays and reduce sunburn.
-May improve texture of skin, hair and nails.
-Has been shown to do the dishes without complaining and save you a bunch of money on your car insurance.
-Yeah, I made that last one up.
I wanted these to work, but they have an awful side effect. Do not take this if you want any man to be attracted to you or you ever want loving from your husband/boyfriend/significant other! Horrible fishy smell overpowered my private parts about two weeks after starting the pills. Took over a month after stopping to get the smell out! Omega-3 fish oil may have great health benefits, but definitely not worth it for me.
I don't know how long the XL Sam's Club bottle has been in my house but i took these pills faithfully for two months in the summer. It might be my imagination and other factors, but my skin went back to its dull, acne-prone ways.. For me, these might have a placebo effect. I eat fish at least 3x/week but I'm hoping to see some better skin and hair in this upcoming month. I have to buy a new bottle very soon.
I started taking this for health, not for beauty (that's what I tell myself anyway.. truthfully I started taking them for both!). Unfortunately I started getting very painful, large acne (unlike I have EVER had). It was so bad I had to stop the pills. And luckily the acne went away. I'm going to research more alternatives though, because I do believe omega 3's are very important for health. Maybe I'll just eat more tuna?? :)
I am writing this not only to document my own research/experience from taking and eating Omega 3s, but also to put a fair, countered perspective to the reviewer below who believed fish oil has a placebo effect.
Q: Are there any scientific studies that prove fish oil improves skin conditions?
YES!! I recommend “The Clear Skin Diet” by Harvard faculty member - Dr. Alan C. Logan, 242 pages of research and background. After reading the book, I am convinced our diet has a direct correlation to our skin (and health), ESPECIALLY for those who are genetically predisposed to certain conditions. Prior to this, I was a skeptic like many others - reluctant to jump on a fish oil fad without understanding the science behind it. (Read the book, it will feed your logical and investigative side). It transformed my understanding of the Western medical industry.
Personally I begin taking fish oil after going off Spirolactone (the side effects just weren’t agreeing with me). I saw a benefit in my skin within 2 weeks in high dosages (I stress high dosages). Usually at this time of the month I always get cysts as my hormones inevitably fluctuate. This time combined with an understanding of a non-inflammatory diet, I didn’t have any noticeable ones! This was really amazing for me so I continue to take it for 6 month now with great results. I have also found cutting out diary products (milk, ice cream) reduced my outbreaks noticeably.
Unfortunately, I love baked goods, chocolate and eggs, as well as a night owl lifestyle – which I have all experimented to be trigger points in breakouts for me personally. To completely cut those items and lifestyle changes out 100% is unimaginable. I’ve got to live a little sometimes you know! I would say fish oil provides clearance about 80 - 90% of the time, but not 100% as an antidote when I do indulge. So now I am also experimenting with GLA (Gamma-linolenic acid), found in Evening Primrose Oil and Borage Oil, which seems be an equally popular holistic avenue - on par with Omega 3 in the anti-inflammatory department.
Q: How can one product confer so many benefits? Reviewers have documented benefits to heart, vision, skin and hair?
To answer this question, you need an understanding of nutrition and how the Western medical industries currently operate. (A reviewer below’ comment on a placebo effect is unfortunate but understandable given the educational system we are fed today). Essentially, our bodies need a 1:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 to function in the utmost balance. Unfortunately our modern diet and lifestyle has catapulted this ratio to be 20:1, causing an inundation of inflammatory conditions manifested as acne, heart problems, arthritis, just to name a few. Fish oil contains EPA and DHA, omega 3 fatty acids that dampens and counters inflammation from a high intake of omega 6, as well as foods like walnuts and flax seeds. Essentially omega 3 in fish oil DOES NOT CURE those problems in the conventional sense in which the medical industry isolate a compound, patent it, and chemically transform ingredients into pills to be taken and sold. But rather by putting our bodies in balance, perhaps more so with the way nature intended and thereby alleviating many conditions. Again Omega 3 is not the only antidote to inflammation, there are documented other holistic avenues such as GLA from evening primrose oil.
Given that our human body is born to function as one unit…and if you examine closely, the common root of inflammation plays a critical component in acne, arthritis and heart problems….are those many benefits from fish oil really such a wonder? Are they really such a miracle?
Q: I am taking fish oil daily, but I am not seeing any noticeable benefits, why?
There are two reasons for this – quality and quantity. Fish oil tablets are bottled from a variety of fish skin oils – salmon, anchovies, mackerel and from a variety of environmental water conditions, some more pristine than others. Manufacturers are jumping on the fad for obvious revenue reasons, thus it is up to consumers to become educated on what to buy. Omega 3 intakes should be calculated not in the number of pills (this is misleading), but in the mg of EPA and DHA it contains per pill (it is at the back of the bottle). A value size bottle from Wal-Mart versus a quality brand from a nutrition boutique will contain remarkably different levels of EPA and DHA.
From The Clear Skin Diet (pg 72): “The editorial in the Journal of Rheumatology (2000) stated, ‘….Dietary fish oil supplements should now be regarded as part of standard therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.’…guidelines for arthritis suggest at least 2,000 mg (of EPA) daily… Check the labels and make sure your brand has enough EPA.”
So what this means is that for a value sized brand that has about 100 to 150 mg of EPA per pill, 2,000 mg means 13 to 20 pills a day (yes per day!!!) to see much of a difference in a chronic condition. For a quality brand that has 500 mg of EPA each, 2,000 mg would mean only 4 pills a day. For skin problems I would suggest 2,000 mg of EPA to start as treatment, than gradually go down to 1000 to 2000 in maintenance dosages (adjusted per the individual).
I have found both Carlson’s fish oil and Nordic Naturals to be highly reputable brands. I personally take the Carlson’s Very Finest Fish Oil in the 16.9 oz glass bottle. I do buy the pills for travel though. As it is highly concentrated with 800 mg of EPA per teaspoon, I prefer getting 2000 mg of EPA from 2-3 teaspoons daily, rather than having to swallow 8 – 10 huge pills. An added bonus is that the bottled format contains lemon extract, so there is no discernable fishy taste or burps.
I hope this answers many questions about omega 3 and fish oils.
I can't live without these. Before I started taking these, I had the crappiest skin. I was breaking out in cysts everywhere and I was finally fed up. My friend has this amazing, perfect, glowing skin and I had to find out what her secret was. She told me it was these pills. I did a little research and decided to try them. Within the first week of trying them, my skin clearly improved. My family noticed and was like, "Oh! Nice skin! So what are you doing?" I happily told them it was these pills. My friends are starting take them as well. They really work. As an added bonus, they make your hair and nails grow like crazy. I'll probably never stop taking these. Love 'em!