Fish oil is one of the most commonly recommended and taken supplements out there. Most people, including myself, consider it an important staple to any supplementation stack, especially a nootropic stack. The reason being that is has many, many proven studies behind it. Not many supplements have such a proven track record as fish oil. I don’t think I’ve seen an article or expert anywhere who recommends against fish oil for a reason not purely speculative.
As humans, we lack the ability to produce our own omega fatty acids. These are extremely important to us, and as you can see below, increased levels of these provide many benefits to the human body.
All in all, fish oil is a staple supplement with one of the most hardened and proven track records out there. Today, I am going to talk about the nootropic benefits of fish oil and what to look for when trying to choose a decent fish oil supplement.
The Proven Benefits of Fish Oil
The benefits of fish oil are numerous, and tend to increase with dose and the quality of your fish oil.
Here’s a quick list of PROVEN benefits:
- Reduces the risk of depression and suicide. 
- Reduces the risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancer.
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
- Helps protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease  and Parkinson’s disease
- Slows bone less rate and increases bone density. 
- Facilitates weight loss and decreases blood sugar when combined with regular exercise. 
- Improves thinking skills and behavior in 8 to 12-year-olds with ADHD. 
- Lowers risk of stroke by as much as 27%. 
- Long term use of 2 years or longer is associated with slowing the loss of kidney functions in high risk patients.
As you can see, fish oil improves our bodily functions in many, many areas. Truly, to me, it reflects what I look for in all nootropic supplements, something I can add or supplement to increase bodily functioning. Not something you rely on, but something you add to merely increase your inherent natural abilities.
Mainly fish oil does all this by simply correcting imbalances in our terrible, high fat and high fast carb modern diet. When you consume a diet heavy in saturated and Trans fats (ie. Most Americans!), you promote inflammation in all parts of the body. Simply reducing such inflammation, among its other benefits of course, is why fish oil proves so effective for most people.
The rich amount of Omega 3 fatty acids that fish oil contains, EPA and DHA, helps to reduce this overall inflammation caused by trans and saturated fats, explaining the benefits to the heart and joints. But these essential fatty acids, sometimes called EFAs, don’t stop working there: as the Omega 3 fats integrate with the cell membranes of neurons, they also improve overall brain function. Taking 7 g of fish oil daily almost nullifies the physical symptoms of stress, and regular use can alleviate depression.
A true example of the effectiveness of fish oil can be found in the book, “Omega 3 Oils”. A Dr. Ruden, the director of a psychiatric institute in Maryland, decided to try treating institutionalized patients with Omega 3 Oils rather than drugs to find out if it would be better despite objections from his colleagues. In one his resulting studies, 7 out of 9 institutionalized patients who were treated with varying amounts of Omega 3’s were able to be discharged from the institute. Some of the patients needed over 4 grams per day during treatment. Dr. Rudin’s work is responsible for the Omega 3 Oils’ health benefits to become widely known, especially for neurological function.
Which Fish Oil to Choose?
There are many, many brands and types of fish oil out there to choose from. Unfortunately, many of them are complete garbage. They do have some positive benefits, but this is one supplement that quality really does matter enormously.
Why though? What makes a high quality fish oil so much better?
Firstly, a high ratio of EPA:DHA is very important and often the defining factor in deciding a quality fish oil supplement. Most people report better results and a larger increase in mood and cognitive function when their fish oil has higher EPA. It may be more expensive, but the results are worth the money.
Secondly, an overall high amount of both EPA and DHA per 1g. These are why fish oil is so effective as a supplement. They give the results and health benefits that you want out of your fish oil. A low quality supplement will have next to none (along with a terrible ratio of EPA:DHA), while a high quality supplement will contain mostly these. While you might pay more for a fish oil that has a higher amount, you are actually getting more bang for your buck compared to the cheaper one. Why? You don’t have to take 6 capsules to get the same effect as 2 of the quality ones. Quality matters.
Thirdly, you’ll want fish oil that has enteric coating. No one wants to get nasty, fishy burps. An enteric coating helps greatly to protect you from this. Some supplements even have orange or otherwise flavoring alongside an enteric coating to make absolute sure you don’t have to suffer the disgusting that is fish burps. Low quality fish oil will not have this, and I promise you, you will be miserable!
Lastly, you want to make sure you go with a reliable brand. The problem with an unreliable brand is that fish oil oxidizes and spoils very easily. You can tell spoiled fish oil because it will reek of nasty, rotten fish. A reliable brand will make sure it is stored properly and will not try to sell you old, spoiled supplements.
Best Fish Oil Brands
There is a huge variance in quality when it comes to fish oil supplements. In general, you get what you pay for. Our favorite, NutriGold Triple Strength Omega-3 Gold, is an excellent source of fish oil.
Recommendation: Buy NutriGold Triple Strength Omega-3 Gold on Amazon.com
Planning to start a new supplementation regimen? See our medical disclaimer.