12 Benefits Of Taking Fish Oil
12 Important Benefits of Fish Oil – Fish oil is one of the most widely used dietary supplements. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are very important for health.
If you don’t eat a lot of oily fish, taking a fish oil supplement can help you get enough omega-3 fatty acids. Here, we will explain the 12 health benefits of fish oil in detail.
What is fish oil?
Fish oil is a fat or oil extracted from the tissues of fish.
It is usually obtained from oily fish such as herring, tuna, anchovies and mackerel. Nevertheless. sometimes it is also made from the liver of other fish, as is the case with fish oil.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating 1-2 servings of fish per week. This is because the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish provide many health benefits, including protection against various diseases.
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However, if you’re not eating 1-2 servings of fish a week, fish oil supplements can help you get enough omega-3s.
About 30% of fish oil is made up of omega-3s and the remaining 70% is made up of other fats. Also, fish oils often contain some vitamins A and D.
It is important to note that the type of omega-3 found in fish oil is more beneficial for your health than the omega-3 found in some plant sources.
The main types of omega-3 in fish oils are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), while the types found in plant sources are primarily alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
While ALA is an essential fatty acid, EPA and DHA have more health benefits.
It’s also important to get enough omega-3s because the western diet has replaced many omega-3s with other fats like omega-6s. This skewed ratio of fatty acids can contribute to a number of diseases.
1. May Support Heart Health
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Studies show that people who eat a lot of fish have a much lower rate of heart disease.
Several risk factors for cardiovascular disease are reduced by eating fish or fish oil. Fish oil benefits for heart health include:
- Improves Cholesterol Levels: It can increase HDL (good) cholesterol and can also lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- Decreased Triglycerides: It can reduce triglycerides by 15-30%.
- Blood Pressure Drops: Even in small doses, it helps lower blood pressure in people with high levels.
- Plaque Prevention: This can prevent the buildup of plaque that can cause hardening of the arteries, as well as making arterial plaque more stable and safer for those who already have it.
Although fish oil supplements can improve many risk factors for heart disease, there is no clear evidence that they can prevent heart attacks or strokes.
Fish oil supplements may reduce several risk factors associated with heart disease. However, there is no clear evidence that they can prevent heart attacks or strokes.
2. It Can Help To Treat Certain Mental Illnesses
Your brain is almost 60% fat, and most of that fat is omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, omega-3s are essential for normal brain function.
In fact, some studies show that people with certain mental health conditions have lower levels of omega-3s in their blood.
Interestingly, studies show that omega-3s can prevent or alleviate the symptoms of certain mental illnesses. For example, it can reduce the likelihood of psychotic disorders in people at risk.
In addition, high-dose fish oil supplements may reduce some of the symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, although good evidence is lacking. More research is needed in this area.
Fish oil supplements may improve the symptoms of some mental illnesses. This effect may be related to a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
3. It Can Support Eye Health
Like your brain, your eyes depend on omega-3 fats. Data shows that people who don’t get enough omega-3s are at higher risk of eye disease.
However, this positive effect was not found, in particular, in dry eye syndrome.
Additionally, eye health begins to decline in old age, which can lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Eating fish is associated with a reduced risk of AMD, but the results for fish oil supplementation are less conclusive.
An earlier study showed that taking high doses of fish oil for 19 weeks improved vision in people with AMD. However, this is a very small study.
Two large studies conducted in 2013 examined the combined effects of omega-3s and other nutrients on AMD.
One study showed a positive effect, while another found no effect. Therefore, the results are not clear.
Eating fish can help prevent eye diseases. However, it is not clear if fish oil supplements have the same effect.
4. It Can Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is your immune system’s way of fighting infection and healing injury. However, chronic inflammation is linked to health problems such as obesity, diabetes, depression, and heart disease.
Reducing inflammation can help treat the symptoms of the disease. Because fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties, it can help treat conditions associated with chronic inflammation.
For example, weight gain or stress can sometimes contribute to higher levels of inflammation.
In two previous studies, one in people with obesity and one in people with stress, fish oil was found to reduce the production and expression of genes for inflammatory molecules called cytokines.
Additionally, fish oil supplements can significantly reduce joint pain, stiffness, and the need for medication in people with rheumatoid arthritis, which causes joint pain.
Although inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is also caused by inflammation, there is no clear evidence that fish oil improves symptoms.
Fish oil has a strong anti-inflammatory effect and can help reduce the symptoms of inflammatory diseases, especially rheumatoid arthritis.
5. It Can Support Healthy Skin
Your skin is the largest organ in your body and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Skin health can deteriorate throughout life, especially in old age or after excessive exposure to the sun.
However, fish oil supplements can be helpful for various skin conditions, including psoriasis and dermatitis.
Your skin can be damaged by aging or overexposure to the sun. Fish oil supplements can help keep skin healthy.
6. It Can Support Pregnancy And Early Growth
Omega-3s are essential for early growth and development. Therefore, it is important to get enough omega-3s during pregnancy and lactation.
Taking fish oil supplements during this time may enhance fetal brain development. However, it is not clear whether learning or IQ will also be improved.
Taking fish oil supplements during pregnancy and lactation can also improve your baby’s visual development and reduce the risk of allergies.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the early growth and development of children. Fish oil supplementation in pregnant women or infants may improve hand-eye coordination, although the effect on learning and IQ is unclear.
7. It Can Reduce Liver Fat
Your liver processes most of the fat in your body and may play a role in weight gain.
Liver disease is becoming more common, especially nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), in which fat accumulates in the liver.
Fish oil supplements can improve liver function and reduce inflammation, which can help reduce NAFLD symptoms and the amount of fat in the liver.
Liver disease is common in obese people. Fish oil supplements can help reduce liver fat and reduce NAFLD symptoms.
8. It Can Improve The Symptoms Of Depression
By 2030, depression is expected to become the second leading cause of illness.
Interestingly, previous studies have shown that people with major depression have lower blood levels of omega-3s. However, the results so far have been inconsistent.
Also, some studies have shown that EPA-rich oils help reduce symptoms of depression more than DHA. Again, more research is needed.
Fish oil supplements, especially those high in EPA, can help relieve in symptoms of depression.
9. It Can Increase Attention Span And Hyperactivity In Children
Some neurodevelopmental disorders in children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are associated with both hyperactivity and inattention.
Since omega-3s make up the bulk of the brain, getting enough of them may be important to prevent this condition early in life.
Fish oil supplements may improve perceptions of hyperactivity, inattention, impulsivity, and aggression in children. This can benefit early learning. But more research is needed.
Neurodevelopmental disorders in children can affect their learning and development. Fish oil supplements have been shown to help reduce hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, and other related behaviors.
10. It Can Help Prevent Symptoms Of Mental Decline
As you get older, your brain works more slowly and your risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases.
People who eat more fish tend to experience a slower decline in brain function as they age.
However, studies of fish oil supplements in the elderly have not provided clear evidence that they can slow the decline in brain function.
However, some very small studies have shown that fish oil can improve memory in healthy older adults.
People who eat more fish have a slower age-related mental decline. However, it is not clear if fish oil supplements can prevent or improve mental illness in older adults.
11. It Can Reduce Asthma Symptoms And Lower The Risk Of Allergies
Asthma, which can cause pulmonary edema and shortness of breath, is becoming more common in babies.
Some research suggests that fish oil may reduce asthma symptoms, especially at a young age.
However, not all studies produced the same results.
In a long-term survey of nearly 100,000 people, maternal intake of fish or omega-3s was found to reduce the risk of asthma in children by 24-29%.
Additionally, fish oil supplementation by pregnant women may reduce the risk of allergies in children.
A higher intake of fish and fish oil during pregnancy may reduce the risk of asthma and allergies in children.
12. May Improve Bone Health
As we age, bones can begin to lose their essential minerals, making them more prone to fractures. This can lead to diseases like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Calcium and vitamin D are important for bone health, but some research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may also be helpful.
People with higher omega-3 intakes and blood levels may have better bone mineral density (BMD).
However, it is not clear whether fish oil supplements improve MIC.
In one study, researchers found that omega-3 supplementation increased BMD in women without symptoms or bone pain, but not in women with osteoporosis.
A small early study suggests that fish oil supplements reduce markers of bone damage, which may prevent bone disease.
A higher intake of omega-3s is associated with higher bone density, which may help prevent bone diseases. However, it is not clear if fish oil supplements are beneficial.
How To Take Fish Oil Supplements
If you don’t eat 1-2 servings of oily fish a week, consider taking fish oil supplements. Here is a list of things to consider when taking fish oil supplements:
The recommended doses of EPA and DHA vary according to age and state of health.
For most adults, the WHO recommends a daily intake of 1.1 to 1.6 grams (1,100 to 1,600 mg) of omega-3 fatty acids per day.
However, your dose may need to be increased if you are pregnant, nursing, or at risk for cardiovascular disease.
Fish oil supplements come in various forms, including ethyl esters, triglycerides, regenerated triglycerides, free fatty acids, and phospholipids.
Ethyl ester is absorbed by the body less than other forms, so try to choose a fish oil supplement in one of the forms listed.
Many supplements contain up to 1,000 mg of fish oil per serving, but only 300 mg of EPA and DHA.
Read the label and choose a supplement that contains at least 500 mg of EPA and DHA per 1,000 mg of fish oil.
Some fish oil supplements may not contain the ingredients they are supposed to contain.
To avoid these products, choose supplements that are verified or third-party certified by the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED).
Omega-3 fatty acids are prone to oxidation, making them rancid.
To avoid this, you can choose supplements that contain antioxidants, such as vitamin E. Also, keep your supplements away from light, preferably in the refrigerator.
Do not use stale or expired fish oil supplements.
Choose fish oil supplements that are certified sustainable, such as by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Environmental Defense Fund.
Fish oil production from anchovies and similar small fish is more sustainable than from large fish.
Other dietary fats can increase the absorption of omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, it is best to take a fish oil supplement with a meal that contains fat.
When reading fish oil labels, be sure to choose supplements that are high in EPA and DHA that are certified pure and sustainable.
Omega-3 contributes to the normal development of the brain and eyes. They fight inflammation and can help prevent heart disease and brain deterioration.
Because fish oil is rich in omega-3s, people at risk for these conditions may benefit from taking it.
However, eating whole foods is almost always better than taking supplements, and two servings of oily fish a week can provide enough omega-3s.
In fact, fish is just as effective as fish oil in preventing many diseases, if not more. However, fish oil supplements are a good alternative if you don’t eat fish.