Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which may help lower cholesterol and triglycerides as well as reduce your risk of heart disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, fish oil may also help with "diabetes, asthma, developmental coordination disorders, movement disorders, dyslexia, obesity, kidney disease, osteoporosis, certain diseases related to pain and swelling such as psoriasis, and preventing weight loss caused by some cancer drugs." Always talk to your doctor before adding fish oil to your diet -- fish oil can thin your blood and lead to bruising, bleeding and stroke.
Take your liquid fish oil supplement with food. Food will help mask the fishy taste, which is often still apparent even with "unflavored" fish oils. Food may also help prevent "fish burps"-- a common side effect of taking supplemental fish oil. Many fish oil capsules have an enteric coating to prevent fish burps by dissolving in the intestines rather than the stomach. Liquid supplements don't have this coating.
Look for the amount of DHA and EPA in your fish oil supplement. There are many types of omega-3 fats, but the two that have the most health benefits are eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, DHA. One of the benefits of taking liquid fish oil rather than capsules is the higher concentration of EPA and DHA per dose. It's common for liquid fish oils to contain 50 percent omega-3s per dose, compared to capsules that usually contain 30 percent omega-3s per dose. The higher the omega-3 dose, the greater the amounts of EPA and DHA.
Choose a high-quality fish oil supplement. The International Fish Oil Standards is an independent, third-party testing facility that carefully monitors quality control of fish oils. Because fish can be high in mercury, PCBs and other environmental toxins, you'll want to choose a supplement that has been tested for purity by an independent laboratory.
Fish oil, like most oils, can go rancid when exposed to heat or light. Store your fish oil in a cool, dark place and use by the expiration date. It is safe to store your liquid fish oil in the refrigerator.
The amount of omega-3s you need to add to your diet depends on your individual health concerns. You may need only 1 g to aid in weight loss, but up to 4 g to lower triglycerides, according to MedlinePlus.