Fish Oil: Sharpen Your Mind
You've probably seen recent headlines claiming that fish oil supplements may not help to protect your heart. Dig into the research, though, and you'll see that some small studies show that fish oil doesn't help those with heart disease — but doctors and researchers alike still believe that omega-3-rich supplements keep the hearts of otherwise healthy men in good shape, possibly preventing heart attacks. "We know that omega-3s, such as DHA and EPA found in fish oil, lower triglycerides, reduce inflammation, stabilize heart rhythms, and, at higher intakes, help prevent blood clotting," Manson says.
Aside from heart-health benefits, fish oil, she adds, may also sharpen brain function, boost mood, and reduce depression. Several studies suggest it could even help stave off Alzheimer's disease. What's more, Manson says, "because of its anti-inflammatory effects, fish oil may help ease muscle and joint aches and make skin look younger."
If you're not eating fatty fish like salmon and mackerel two or three times a week, Lipman says it's safe to assume you're deficient in omega-3s. "Fish oil is an easy way to make up for them," he says.
How Much You Need: Aim to get one to three grams of DHA and EPA per day, taken any time of day. Capsule sizes vary, and liquid fish oil tends to be more potent, so be vigilant about label-reading, because there is a small risk of internal bleeding if you go above four grams per day.