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Fish Oil – Do I really need it?

What does it actually do for me??


As Osteopaths, we often see patients who tell us that they don’t take pain killers. This could be from allergies, interactions with other medications or their own personal beliefs. Although we believe that pain relief always has a time and place, it’s beneficial to have alternative options. These options often come in the form of supplements. One of the most commonly known supplements that most have seen in their medicine cabinet is fish oil.

Fish oil is commonly known to have great effects on different aspects of our health. Development of children and babies during pregnancy, joint pain, heart function and brain health as well as having anti-inflammatory properties.

There are two types of omega-3 fatty acids found naturally in fish oil. EPA and DHA. These fatty acids work within the cells of our bodies to help transmit chemical messages throughout our body systems.

At every stage of our life, fish oil has many health benefits. So…the question is then: how much should we be consuming!!? If we’re not eating oily, cold water fish 2-3 times a week, we’re probably not reaping all the health benefits, so supplements are an easy alternative. If you are consuming the recommended dose of fish, supplements aren’t required, however if you’re at high risk of heart disease your health professional may still advise for an extra boost.

What stage of life you’re in will decide what type of fish oil and how much, you require.


Fish oil for children and healthy development.

During the imperative developmental years, as much as 37% of school-aged children never or rarely eat fish. With fish oil playing a significant role in the structure and function of the brain and immune system, this is a critical time to be aware of how much our children should be consuming. Children need a near equal balance of EPA and DHA, and there is always the option of a liquid supplement – some of us just don’t like big tablets!

0-4yrs 9yrs 14yrs 18yrs
Girls .5g per day .8g per day .8g per day .8g per day
Boys .5g per day .8g per day 1g per day 1.2g per day

Fish oil for Brain Function

We all want to have a memory like a fish elephant when it suits us. But is taking fish oil going to help us solve the cryptic cross word? Sadly no, however it will help with brain function! Every single nerve in our body is coated by a myelin sheath. Nerves in our brain, all the way down to the nerves in our little toe. Fish oil helps create this protective coating, allowing efficient transmission of messages between nerves all around our body. So it may not give us mind reading powers, but it will allow our brain and nerves to communicate efficiently together.

Fish Oil for Heart Health

  • Fish oil has such a great benefit on heart health and function, that the National Heart Foundation of Australia has recommended that all Australians consume at least 500g of fish oil daily. Fish oil helps control the amount of healthy fat (triglycerides) in our blood and helps increase the amount of good cholesterol (HDL). If you’re at-risk for cardiovascular disease, it’s recommended to take up to 1000mg, but please talk to your healthcare practitioner first.

We see patients of all ages and in completely different stages of life at St Kilda Osteopathy. We want to guide you on your path to health not just with physical, hands on treatment, but with a global health approach. If you require further assistance on fish oil, please contact us or your health practitioner or pharmacist to help.

Dr. Catriona Bauld
B.Sci (Clin.Sci), M.H.S.(Osteo)
Member of Osteopathy Australia


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Categories: General Information