Fish Oils – Friend Or Foe? All About Omega 3 Oils
By Freedom 360
Medically reviewed by Freedom 360 Panel of Doctors
There are many anecdotal stories about psoriasis patients who have found relief from their condition by taking fish oils which contain Omega-3 fatty acids.
While there may be some overall benefits to taking fish oils, it is important that psoriasis patients understand what they are and how they work.
First, it is important to realise that fish oil tablets and Omega-3 tablets are not drugs, but dietary supplements. As such, they are not regulated the same why that drugs are. This means that the ingredients may be inconsistent. So whatever product you choose, do some research and check out the reputation of the manufacturer before you buy.
Second, there is no proof that a link exists between diet and psoriasis. So while different supplements may improve your condition, they are never going to amount to a permanent cure.
Third, there are three main kinds of Omega-3 fatty acids. Alpha-linolenic acid is found in some vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and soy foods. The second type is called Eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA, and the third type is called Docosahexaenoic acid or DHA. It is the EPA and DHA which you are taking when you take a fish oil capsule or when you eat fish such as salmon.
Fourth, the reason why Omega-3’s are believed to help with psoriasis is because they may help reduce inflammation. With psoriasis, the immune system causes the skin to produce cells at an accelerated rate, causing redness and inflammation. So a healthy supplement that reduces inflammation will be of benefit to a psoriasis patient.
Fifth, Omega-3 fatty acids are not meant as a standalone treatment. Before you take Omega-3 supplements, talk to your doctor and ensure your current treatment regime and medication is working as effectively as possible. Omega-3 supplementation should only be considered in conjunction with proper medical treatment.
So how effective are Omega-3 fatty acids in relieving the symptoms of psoriasis? According to the US National Psoriasis Foundation, the research on whether Omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help reduce the severity of psoriasis is mixed and more long-term clinical controlled studies are neededi .
However, getting some more Omega-3 in your diet can have other beneficial health affects - even a small amount of extra fish in your diet can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by fifty percentii .
- New England Journal of Medicine (312:1205, 1985)