A dose of Fish OilQ: I have been taking fish oil supplements every day, but now I’ve noticed that they have a lot of calories. Since I’m trying to lose weight, should I be concerned about the extra calories from the fish oil?

A: Because fish oil supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids, a form of fat, some people do worry that the extra fat calories might contribute to problems with weight control. On the other hand, earlier research suggested that one of the metabolic benefits of omega-3s might be to promote weight loss. Latest findings: A new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that supplementing with fish oil did not affect weight either way—it neither helped nor hindered weight loss.

Bottom line: Fish oil typically contains about 10 to 15 calories per capsule. There is no standard dosage, so it is best to follow your doctor’s recommendations. But even if you take as many as five capsules per day, you are probably getting no more than 50 to 75 extra calories daily. The health benefits far outweigh those calories—because omega-3s promote cardiovascular health, reducing blood pressure, triglycerides (fats related to cholesterol) and heart attack risk… may fight arthritis due to their anti-inflammatory effects… and may help protect against psychiatric and cognitive problems. Of course: It also is wise to get fish oil naturally by regularly eating fish, such as anchovies, herring, mackerel, mullet, salmon and sardines.