Is Fish Oil Really That Good For You? (The Health Benefits of Fish Oil)

Is Fish Oil Really That Good For You? (The Health Benefits of Fish Oil)


People in the United States spend about $1.2
billion dollars with a B annually for fish oil pills– and of the 10 per cent of Americans
who take them, 90 per cent of people do so without a recommendation from their doctor. That’s a lot of people! But what is the science on fish oil? Is fish oil good for our health? [SCIQ SWOOSH] Well, we did our research and let’s just
say…. There’s something fishy going on here! Such a bad pun Okay so in the 1970s, a major study showed
a correlation between fish oil and good heart health. Danish researchers took blood samples from
130 Greenlandic Inuits whose diet almost entirely consisted of whale blubber and fish, and it
was discovered that their heart health was top notch. The two researchers formally hypothesized
that the low levels of heart disease among the Inuit was caused by the omega-3s in their
fishy diets. This research was tested by a 1989 study in
the Lancet. The test, often referred to as the DART study,
studied Welsh men who had suffered heart attack; and found that those who ate more oily fish
were less likely to die. Everyone knew that fish oil was good for your
heart – and given that heart disease is the number 1 killer in America – everyone wanted
some fish oil! Even if they didn’t have heart problems! I mean, you might as well take it and be healthy,
right? So the 1990s began a gold rush for the fish
oil supplement industry as pharmaceutical and supplement companies cashed in big time! Between 2007 and 2012, sales of fish oils
and Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplements in the United States increased steadily, from about
$500 million to over a billion dollars. Cha-ching! However! Between the years of 2005 as 2012, the exact
same time as the industry was booming, twenty-four large-scale studies were done on fish oil,
and somehow, only TWO of those studies found it to have a tangible impact on heart health. The remaining twenty-two? They discredited it. What the? Okay so let’s take a step back. Fish oil supplements ARE indeed rich in omega3
fatty acids – the stuff that the inuit diet that the researchers *thought* made their
subjects so healthy. But that was just a hypothesis – and while
the DART study of Welsh men seemed promising, there were issues with it, and it certainly
wasn’t conclusive. In science, a consensus of experiments is
what gives weight to a hypothesis. And with fish oil the strongest evidence suggests
that at best, the effects of fish oil are negligible, and nowhere near as good as the
effects of modern, FDA approved heart medication. Yet the fish oil industry has done nothing
but gain momentum and its gaining momentum every year. We know for certain that dietary supplement
companies want us to think that fish oil is good for our heart, but they seem to be the
only ones who are totally sure about it. So if the medical evidence is not in – then
why do we all think fish oil is so great? In huge reason is the media. A positive article Bec
chocolate cures cancer! Sells way more copies than a negative article Bec
AWWW Chocolate makes you fat! So it’s no surprise that a even though 92%
of major fish oil studies did not show a positive health benefit, the media coverage of fish
oil was mostly positive and enthusiastic! Thanks for nothing, media! Fish oil is also kind of seen as an insurance
policy – i dunno if this works, but it can’t hurt so i might as well take it. So, What do you guys think about fish oil? Do you own some pills yourself? Do you feel like you’ve been misled on their
health benefits? Let us know your fishy thoughts in the comments
below. HI everyone! I’m Jayde Lovell, resident science nerd at
the Young Turks Network. You’re watching SciQ, and we know you don’t
want to miss an episode, so click the subscribe button down below.

17 thoughts on “Is Fish Oil Really That Good For You? (The Health Benefits of Fish Oil)

  1. What do you guys think about fish oil? Do you own some pills yourself? Do you feel like you’ve been misled on their health benefits? Let us know your fishy thoughts in the comments below.

  2. I feel like everyone is a trout. Sorry, I mean 'tout'. It's enough to give you a Haddock… tut, Oh – you know what I mean…

  3. Go Orioles! If you're a fan do you want to go to an Oriole Game with me so I can tell everybody at the Stadium I is Hot for the ScIQ Babe,(You) on the Jumbotron? Oh, By the way, thumbs up on your Oratory. Thanks, Joe Magill (Baltimore Born & Bred)

  4. Did they ever wonder it could have been due to their low carb diet? I've been taking fish oils for about 2 weeks and I do feel healthier but that could just be a placebo

  5. I thought there was research showing that omega 3 fatty acids helped the brain recover from concussions and strokes, etc. I do not have a citation. Also I thought the health benefits came from the ratio of Omega 3 fatty acids to other fatty acids in the diet, it just seems like the video didn't cover all the aspects of fish oil's possible studied health benefits. I was hoping for something more in depth from ScIQ

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