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One Secret Effect of Taking Fish Oil Supplements, Says Dietitian

It's not just your heart that may benefit from these omega-3-rich supplements.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Regular consumption of fish and fish oil supplements has long been heralded as an easy way to reduce your risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. For those who don't necessarily have the time or incentive to cook themselves seafood on a regular basis, supplementation with fish oil can make living a healthier lifestyle a whole lot easier. However, experts say that taking fish oil supplements can have some surprising benefits for your health—including one, in particular, that you may not have heard of.

According to registered dietitian Holly Klamer, MS, RD, of My Crohn's and Colitis Team, taking fish oil supplements may be an effective way of reducing psoriasis symptoms.

"A 2020 study found that, when combined with conventional treatments, fish oil supplements helped clear up psoriasis in study participants," says Klamer. "The reason fish oil supplements may help with the skin condition psoriasis is due to its anti-inflammatory properties." (Related: The #1 Best Supplement to Reduce Inflammation, Say Dietitians.)

woman in jean jacket and pants itching arm
Shutterstock / Josep Suria

An additional study published in Open Access Text found similar results. In the latter study, researchers separated 40 patients with plaque psoriasis into two groups, with one group receiving 3 grams of fish oil per day and one control group. The study's authors found that, among those given fish oil supplements, their quality of life improved, their antioxidant levels were higher, and their overall inflammation was reduced.

While fish oil supplementation may have benefits for some individuals with psoriasis, it's not a cure-all for everyone suffering from that or other skin conditions, experts caution.

"Some people, especially with fish or shellfish allergies, can develop a rash or dermatitis related to fish oil. This is because fish oil can contain a small number of proteins that cause allergic reactions in people prone to this," explains Heidi Monetti, RD, resident nutritional advisor to Sovereign Laboratories.

As is the case with any supplement or drug, it's always best to make sure that your fish oil won't interact with other prescriptions or OTC meds you're taking, so talk to your healthcare provider before buying a bottle, even if it seems like a magic bullet for your psoriasis now. For more great ways to enjoy a gorgeous complexion, check out the 33 Best Foods for Glowing Skin That's Blemish-Free, and for more great health tips delivered to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more about Sarah
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