Question: Should middle-age and older men take fish oils daily? Who might benefit from taking them?
Answer: I'm a big proponent of fish oil in a number of circumstances. What happens is there are a certain number of oils our body can't make – the omega 3's and the omega 6's. The omega 3's tend to decrease inflammation so they can be used for any number of processes there. I often recommend that when people are having joint pain or when they find that they're having trouble with any sort of an autoimmune issue as well. Folks with rheumatoid arthritis, folks with chronic osteoarthritis can often benefit. In addition I'll use fish oil for people who have issues with triglycerides; they are really good at lowering those. Furthermore, you can use fish oil in general for mood related issues, and I'll often suggest it for folks who are suffering from depression or even bipolar disorder. There's some preliminary evidence that that can be helpful.
As far as the fish oil goes, I recommend it for folks who are any age range with those issues, but especially once they move in toward middle age. It's one of those few supplements where it's good to have the supplement as well as trying to get it through the diet, because it's not always easy to get good quality fish products nowadays.
As far as dosing, it's really variable in terms of the recommendations but a lot of people will say somewhere in the range of 1 to 4 grams a day. I usually start with one gram in a fish oil capsule, then have people titrate it up.