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Uncle Sam wants you…and fish oil?

written by Vin Kutty

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omega-3 armed forces

Shock and awe!

The US military is planning to buy large quantities of Omega-3 fish oil. Nope, not for use as a lubricant. After all, fish and whale oil were the grease of choice a century or two ago.

The military is buying fish oil for health reasons.

The Department of Defense is planning to provide active service personnel with fish oil pills or possible add more Omega-3 into their diet by fortifying meal rations.

Why is the military interested in fish oil?

1. Enhance general stress resilience
2. Improve general wellness
3. To cut hospital and medical expenses
4. To provide DHA for rebuilding brain tissue from traumatic brain injuries (TBI)

This new approach in preventive care will probably first be used in combat feeding and in military medical units.

Did you know that the US military had a Dietary Supplement Committee?

Well, this committee has been studying fish oil benefits for a long time. Their interest in fish oil was mostly in the form of a nutritional armor.

Omega-3: Nutritional armor

Mood health issue rates are very high in the armed forces. Repeated tours of duty, post-traumatic stress, separation from family, fallen comrades, and the physical and emotional stress of combat are all taking a toll.

A military conference titled ‘Nutritional armor for the warfighter: can omega-3 fatty acids enhance stress resilience, wellness, and military performance?’ was held in October 2009 near Washington.

In an interview with NutraIngredients-USA, Adam Ismail, director of GOED states: “I think omega-3s have a vital role to play for the US military. Fortification would be a cheap way of achieving big health care savings, improving military performance and saving lives through helping TBIs.”


Chances are that soldiers will first be given the option to take fish oil supplements. There is an old military directive that says soldiers may not be given any form of medicine through their food supply. So pills are the most likely delivery form.

This is all good.

But the military is taking its time deciding how, when and how much Omega-3 to give.

If there is a small chance that it can make a difference, why not start now?

Why wait?

It’s the least the military could do.


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