How Long Does it Take for Fish Oil to Get Into Your System?

Close up of fish oil pills.
Close up of fish oil pills. (Image: Bigkhem/iStock/Getty Images)

Fish Oil Explained

Fish oil contains Omega-3, which is a polyunsaturated fatty acid found in fish like salmon and tuna. This fatty acid is comprised of Omega-3 compounds EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Omega-3 cannot be manufactured in our body, but has to be ingested from fish, plants or in supplements.
Fish oil is available in capsules and in liquid form. The capsule forms are most popular because of taste, but the liquid form may be more beneficial.

Fish oil is derived from fish like salmon.
Fish oil is derived from fish like salmon. (Image: AlexPro9500/iStock/Getty Images)

How to Take Fish Oil Properly

The amount of time for fish oil to take effect depends on the concentration and quality. Some capsules have only 30 percent concentration while others are much more potent, with a concentration of up to 85 percent Omega-3, which is similar to liquid fish oil supplements. Once ingested, fish oil is digested rapidly, but the amount of time to see benefits from taking fish oil can take up to three months, according to Dr. Mercola of Dr. Mercola's Natural Health Center. Dr. Mercola also prefers liquid fish oil due to the potency, but suggests a capsule formula of 180 /120 mg EPA/DHA for every 10 lbs. of body weight. If you experience a fishy aftertaste when taking fish oil, try keeping the bottle in the refrigerator or freezer. This will help cut down on the fishy burping after-effect, and also prolong shelf-life.

Fish oil in palm of hand.
Fish oil in palm of hand. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Why Fish Oil Is Important

Fish oil has many benefits, including helping with heart disease. The risk of sudden cardiac arrest death was reduced by up to 36 percent when the diet was supplemented with Omega-3 fish oil supplements, according to a "Quarterly Journal of Significant Omega-3 Research" study by Harvard professor D. Mozzafarian in 2008. Fish oil supplements are also used to help rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders, diabetes, cholesterol problems, depression, ADHD and other emotional disorders.

Fish oil helps improve the condition of the heart.
Fish oil helps improve the condition of the heart. (Image: Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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