On call: Fish oil revisited

On call

Fish oil revisited

Q. I was impressed by your July 2004 article on fish oil, and I'm thinking of taking it. I remember that my mother gave me a spoonful of cod liver oil every day. Would it be a good thing for me to have today?

A. As much as I hate to cast even a tiny shadow on your memories of Mom, I think you can do better.

The benefits of fish oil depend entirely on its two long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoicacid (EPA) and docosahexaemonicacid (DHA). Cod liver oil has plenty of both, but since it's made from liver, it also has large amounts of vitamin A, about 4,500 IU per teaspoon. The same is true of supplements made from halibut or shark liver.

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