Increasing Clinical Evidence to Support Direct Human Consumption of Fish Oil

Fish oils are a key marine product derived from oily fishes, and are used as fish feed in aquacultures as well for direct human consumption. The high omega-3 content of fish oils is responsible for the growing direct human consumption of fish oils. Even though omega-3 fatty acids, which are an essential nutrient required for healthy development of humans, can be found in algae and flax as well, commercial production of omega-3 is dominated by fish farming. As a result of the increasing human consumption, the need for fish oils in aquaculture has grown in recent years.

According to Transparency Market Research, the global fish oils market was valued at US$1.1 bn in 2011. Exhibiting a 5.05% CAGR from 2012 to 2018, the market is expected to rise to a valuation of US$1.7 bn.

What is the prime driver for the global fish oil market?

The growing public awareness about the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids is the crucial driver for the global fish oil market. The claimed health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are also being backed by an increasing number of studies, and new studies are also being initiated to explore their possible medicinal uses.

A study released in August 2016 and carried out by medical researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston showed that high doses of omega-3 fatty acids help in cardiac remodeling following a myocardial infarction (MI). Compared to the trial participants on placebo, participants given omega-3 showed a clear reduction in muscle fibrosis in the heart as well as in the volume of blood remaining in the left ventricle after contraction. Both markers are crucial in establishing heart health following MI, establishing an initial correlation between omega-3 intake and heart health.

Fish oil is also being studied in a recently initiated trial at the Medical University of South Carolina to explore its possible benefits in enhancing the cognitive processes of soldiers. The two-year study, initiated in August 2016 and planned to end in spring 2018, will assess cognitive markers such as decision making abilities, attention span, and impulsivity with the help of computerized cognitive tests. The backing of the U.S. army has made this study crucial for the fish oil market, as a favorable trial result will likely boost the demand for direct human consumption.

Which is the key geographical segment of the global fish oil market?

Regionally, Europe is the leading contributor to the global fish oil market due to the longstanding traditions of fish farming in several European countries. Denmark, in particular, is a leading consumer of fish oil. However, the rapidly expanding aquaculture industry in China is likely to drive the Asia Pacific fish oil market in the coming years. Due to the heavy consumption of fish oil in Chile and Peru, Latin America is also a key market for fish oil and is likely to have a notable role in the global market’s development in the coming years.


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