Carlson Fish Oil Review: Benefits, Drawbacks & Products
Fish oil is taken from oily fish such as Mackerel, Herring and Salmon. The supposed benefits of taking this oil in supplement form are numerous, and it is becoming increasingly popular with people attempting to improve their health and vitality.
In fact, people in the USA spend $1.2 billion a year on fish oil, according to the Washington Post. The question that any intelligent consumer would ask is ‘what are the effects of fish oil?’ ‘Is it worth the money?’ ‘Are there any drawbacks to taking fish oil?’
Below, some of your questions will be answered in our detailed Carlson fish oil review, and evidence will be considered.
What are the Benefits of Fish Oil?
Fish oil contains the omega 3 Fatty acids DHA and EPA, which evidence shows can help prevent and manage heart disease. Likewise, other benefits include reduced blood pressure and a much-reduced likelihood of stroke. Also, fish oil can help to improve cardiovascular health more generally.
Perhaps surprisingly, fish oils may also be able to treat and improve the symptoms of some psychological disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. As well as this, there is also some evidence that fish oil supplementation improves the symptoms of anxiety and depression and there is evidence that people who eat more fish are less prone to age related mental decline and the symptoms of dementia.
Omega 3 fatty acids are an important part of the structure of the eye, and there is also evidence that fish oil can support and potentially improve vision, particularly as we age. Furthermore, fish oil can improve skin health when we age, and has been shown to be effective in treating skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema.
Omega 3 is also incredibly important for the brain, and therefore it should come as no surprise that it is fundamental to brain health. There is evidence that fish oil may help to treat attention deficit hyper activity disorder (ADHD) in children. There are also many other supposed benefits of fish oil such as improved bone health and improved liver health.
Men’s Fitness is particularly effusive in their praise for fish oil supplementation as a part of a healthy diet and they give many reasons for integrating fish oil into your lifestyle. For example, researchers in Japan have shown that fish oil can improve fat metabolism and help you to lose weight, by converting fat storage cells into fat burning cells.
Secondly, research has shown that fish oil can boost working memory and general brain health. Teenagers may also be happy to hear that fish oil is said to reduce acne. This has been tested in a study by California State Polytechnic University under controlled conditions. They also claim many other benefits for fish oil, such as improved eye health, less susceptibility to the effects of air pollution and reduced inflammation.
The World Health Organization recommends eating 1-2 portions of oily fish per week. According to some authorities, the replacement of omega 3 fatty acids with omega 6 has possibly contributed to the rise in certain lifestyle diseases, and an increased consumption of fish oil could prevent the occurrence of these problems. If you don’t eat this much, or you don’t like fish, then a fish oil supplement could be for you.
Why Carlson Fish Oil and their Fish Oil Range?
Another question that you might have is ‘Ok, so I am convinced about the positive benefits of fish oil, but why Carlson Lab’s product?’ Carlson Lab’s fish oil is renowned for its quality and tight quality control standards. It is also often recommend as the brand of choice by doctors.
Carlson Labs fish oil range provides a variety of options to ensure that you gain all of the health benefits mentioned above in the most efficient way possible. For example, they provide fish oil in liquid form, that can be taken by the teaspoon or mixed into foods.
This type of fish oil supplement, liquid fish oil with a natural lemon taste, is bottled in Norway for freshness and is guaranteed pure. As well as this, it has frustration free packaging, which is easy to use and practical. Likewise, if you feel that the liquid fish oil is too, well, oily, then you may choose chewable soft gels, which are easy to swallow and contain all of the potency of natural fish oil.
What do People Say about Carlson Fish Oil Products?
Consumers are very positive about Carlson’s fish oil products, and the benefits they have. One consumer who has given Carlson liquid fish oil to his son who suffers from Autism is really positive about the effects of this supplement, and claim almost miraculous improvements.
He claims his son has exhibited dramatic improvements due to being given fish oil supplements, going from having to wear noise cancelling headphones to leave the house due to noises triggering intense upset and engaging in frequent self harm through banging his head against the wall, to not using the headphones anymore, having much less frequent meltdowns and even being able to go to the bowling alley, which previously had been unthinkable.
Another user of Carlson Lab’s fish oil talks of the significant improvements in his cholesterol, with increased good cholesterol and reduced bad cholesterol after clinical tests. Others have provided evidence of how their bloodwork had proved the positive effects of the fish oil and praised the taste and ‘lack of fishy burps’ resulting from taking the oil.
Still others have given examples of conditions that have proved easier to manage as a result of the use of fish oil supplements, such as arthritis, joint pain, skin problems, high cholesterol, and dry eye syndrome.
One further benefit of the liquid form of fish oil is its versatility: it can be stirred into a soup, drizzled over a salad or used as an ingredient in a smoothie. As such, it is easy to integrate into your life, and is a tasty, useful ingredient to have in your kitchen. Finally, liquid fish oil may be easier for your body to absorb than capsules, as tests have shown that omega 3 levels in the blood are higher after use of fish oil than capsules.
Some consumers have expressed that they prefer the soft gel capsules. For starters, they are more convenient for travel, as a large supply is relatively portable and can be stowed in your luggage and carried around. Likewise, some have said that the soft gels, being chewable, are more suitable for children, for example the aforementioned father of the boy with autism, as they may see them as a tasty treat rather than medication.
Others praise the taste of the soft gels and say that it is a pleasure to chew the capsule and taste the sweet liquid in their mouth every morning. Perhaps another important point to make it that they are easy to swallow, so for those of you that don’t like to taste fish at all you may prefer to take the easy to swallow soft gels rather than the potentially a little more fishy oil.
Best Products from the Carlson Fish Oil Range
Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil – Lemon or Orange Flavor
If you’re looking for a quality fish oil that is likely to have the desired outcome to your health then this is the one. This award-winning finest liquid fish oil is bottled at source in Norway. It’s advised to take twice twice a day at mealtime to give the best results.
Appears to reduce symptoms of dry eye syndrome
Doesn’t cause fishy burps
Some minor complaints about the bottles cap
Carlson Norwegian Cod Liver Oil
Naturally high in vitamin A, D3, EPA & DHA, Carlson Norwegian cod liver oil is prepared using cod fish caught during the winter and early spring to ensure high liver oil content. This cod liver oil is regularly tested to ensure the high quality you might expect from Carlson.
Clean and gentle taste
Works great in a smoothie
Flavor doesn’t suit everyone
Carlson Labs Elite Omega-3, Gems Fish Oil Soft Gels
If you prefer taking your fish oil in a capsule then these soft-gel offerings from Carlson are worth checking out. With the same quality assurance that you are assured from all of their range these soft-gel tablets offer a more convenient way to get your daily intake of fish oil.
Great value for money
Soft-gel so go down very easily
Might be too large for those who don’t like swallowing pills
Carlson Labs Carlson for Kids Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil
While we didn’t cover children’s fish oil in great detail, Carlson also offer this variation designed specifically for children. With the same benefits to children as to adults, it’s worth considering if fish oil should be part of your child’s regular intake.
Range of benefits
Minor reports of problems with the cap
A Word of Caution: Possible Drawbacks of Fish Oil
There are certainly some lofty claims made about the benefits of taking fish oil supplements, and you may already be convinced. Some of these are backed by scientific evidence, and some are anecdotal. However, there is also reason to be cautious about such statements. One relatively minor thing to be aware of, and a possible drawback of taking fish oil supplements, is the potential occurrence of ‘fish burps’, fishy tasting belches after taking your supplement.
Consumers seem to be split on this, with some saying that it is not a problem at all, and that Carlson’s range in particular has eliminated this in comparison to some others brands. However, some who have used the product have stated that fishy smelling burps have been a problem whilst they have been taking fish oil, as well as gas and bloating.
Perhaps a more compelling reason for thinking things through before starting a course of fish oil is the possible link between the use of fish oil containing Omega 3s and a higher instance of prostate cancer in men. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute conducted a study and found that men with higher concentrations of Omega 3 fatty acids in their blood were more likely to develop prostate cancer.
On the other hand, those with higher concentrations of linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, had a lower rate of the incidence of prostate cancer. Of course correlation doesn’t always mean causation, but doctors have been warned to weigh up a man’s prostate cancer risk carefully before recommending fish oil.
Another thing to be cautious of is to ensure that you don’t make the mistake of thinking that fish oil supplements can be a replacement for a healthy balanced diet. In America, for example, oily fish consumption is very low, yet the use of fish oil supplements is booming.
Whilst supplements are fantastic, particularly if they have positive health benefits, most commentators, nutritionists and health experts would maintain that the best thing is to meet your health requirements through eating a healthy diet with lots of fruit and vegetables and as little of the bad stuff (processed food, fat, salt, etc) as possible.
Another possible issue outlined by Men’s Health is twofold. First of all, the supplements may not deliver all of the proposed benefits of the natural thing: eating fish. Secondly, the health benefits that have been proposed for fish oil supplements have yet to be fully tested.
Though there have been a few small studies that have showed benefits to heart health, but there have not been enough randomized control trials to unequivocally prove these benefits, so keep up to date with the latest evidence.
Finally, according to Livestrong, fish oil supplements can have side effects such as nosebleeds, loose stools and nausea, and can interact with certain medications, such as those for high blood pressure and those that slow blood clotting and in higher doses can even prevent blood clotting and increase bleeding. So, as you have seen, the proposed health benefits of taking a fish oil supplement, though they are convincing, have to be balanced against the potential risks or side effects.
Conclusion: Should I be Taking Fish Oil?
Personally we think yes, the possible benefits far outweigh the potential drawbacks. Fish oil is becoming an increasingly popular supplement, and, having perused the evidence and the views of consumers, it is clear that there are a number of clear supposed benefits, together with some potential drawbacks that have to be taken into account.
Potential benefits include benefits for the eyes, the skin and a variety of claims have been made about the ability of fish oil to treat disorders of the brain, including psychological problems. This is notwithstanding the possible ability of fish oil to help to treat a variety of other conditions.
However, there are also drawbacks, ranging from the relatively minor (the fishy burps) to the potentially dangerous (the supposed link between consumption of fish oil and prostate cancer). This is of course in addition to the accepted side effects and interactions, for example with blood pressure drugs, and the way in which fish oil prevents blood clotting.
This is undoubtedly a lot to take in, and could be confusing. As a responsible consumer, the important thing is to weigh up the pros and cons of taking fish oil and make a reasoned choice.