One of the most popular dietary supplements is fish oil. Essential for good health, it contains high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids. Having a fish oil supplement may be necessary to ensure an adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids if your diet is low in oily fish. It refers to the fat or oil that is pressed from fish tissue. It is typically derived from oily fish including salmon, sharks, sardines, and mackerel. Contrary to popular belief, it is not always made from cod livers. Two or three servings of fish weekly are what the WHO recommends for optimal health. This is due to the numerous health benefits, including resistance to a variety of diseases, provided by the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish.
You can obtain adequate omega-3s via fish oil supplements if you don’t consume fish (around 1-2 servings per week). Omega-3 fatty acids account for about 30% of fish oil, while other fats make up the remaining 70%. In addition, it is a good source of vitamins A and D. The omega-3s present in fish oil are more beneficial to health than the omega-3s present in some natural sources. It is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), while alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) predominates in plant foods (ALA). While ALA is useful, the benefits of EPA and DHA far outweigh those of ALA. Since omega-3s have been substituted in the Western diet by other fats, like omega-6s, it’s crucial to get an adequate amount of these healthy fatty acids. Many disorders may be exacerbated by this imbalance in fatty acids.
What health advantages does fish oil possess?
Several positive effects on both mental and physical well-being have been attributed to fish oil consumption. It is an excellent source of healthy fats like DHA and EPA as well as vitamins A and D. While research into the benefits of fish oil continues to yield new information, the following are some of the most prominent claims made for the super-supplement.
Following are the positive effects of fish oil
Perhaps beneficial to cardiovascular health
To put it simply, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death everywhere in the globe. Consumption of fish is associated with a significantly reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, according to research. Fish intake or fish oil appears to lower several risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Reduced cholesterol levels, reduced triglycerides, lowers blood pressure, and avoidance of plaque are just a few of fish oil’s perks for heart health. Plaques, which can cause artery hardening, may be avoided, and in those who currently have them, the plaques may become more stable and less dangerous. While there is some evidence that taking fish oil capsules can reduce some cardiovascular risk factors, this does not indicate that they will help stop heart attacks or strokes. Some cardiovascular disease risk factors may be mitigated by using fish oil capsules. However, there is insufficient proof that they can avert cardiac arrest or cerebrovascular accidents.
Possible use in the treatment of some psychiatric disorders
As a result, omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for maintaining regular brain function. Those with particular mental health issues have been shown to have reduced levels of omega-3s in their blood, according to some research. Omega-3s have been linked to a reduction in the risk of developing and an amelioration of the symptoms of several mental health problems, which is an intriguing finding. Those at risk of developing psychotic disorders may have their symptoms mitigated by this treatment. There is a lack of consistent research, although taking an elevated fish oil product may help alleviate some indications of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. There is a need for more research in this area. It has been suggested that taking fish oil supplements can help with the symptoms of a variety of psychological and emotional disorders. Upping your intake of omega-3 fatty acids might have this impact.
The possibility of promoting eye health
Omega-3 fats are essential for your brain and vision. There is mounting evidence that links the insufficient intake of omega-3s to an increased risk of ocular illness. However, in the case of dry eye illness, this beneficial effect was not observed. The risk of developing age-related macular degeneration also increases with age (AMD). While studies have connected eating fish to a lower incidence of age-related macular degeneration, findings from taking fish oil supplements have been mixed. Taking a large concentration of fish oil for 19 weeks benefited eyesight in persons with AMD, according to an older study. Nonetheless, this was a tiny study. The impact of omega-3s and other nutrients on age-related macular degeneration was studied in two additional research in 2013. Two studies were conducted, with opposite results: one showing a favorable impact and the other finding none. Consequently, the findings are ambiguous.
Have the potential to lessen swelling
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to harmful invaders or damaged tissue to heal. However, persistent inflammation is linked to issues including becoming overweight, developing diabetes, feeling down, and developing heart disease. Reducing inflammation is a useful strategy for alleviating the symptoms of many disorders. As fish oil can reduce inflammation, it could be used to treat a variety of health problems. Sometimes, factors like being overweight or experiencing a lot of stress can lead to increased inflammation. Fish oil has been shown to suppress the creation and gene expression of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines in two previous investigations, one in adults with obesity and one in those suffering stress. Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful condition that affects the joints, and taking its capsules has been shown to lessen joint pain, stiffness, and the need for medication.
Possibly beneficial to skin issues
In addition to being the body’s most important organ, your skin is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Damage to the skin can occur at any point in life but is more common in old age or after prolonged exposure to the sun. However, acne and eczema aren’t the only skin conditions where taking fish oil supplements could help. The sun and the passage of time are both culprits in skin deterioration. The skin may benefit from taking fish oil supplements.
Perhaps helpful during pregnancy and the first few years of life
Omega-3s play a crucial role in a child’s early progress and expansion. As a result, it’s crucial to obtain adequate omega-3s before, during, and after pregnancy. Supplementing with fish oil throughout these times may be beneficial to the brain development of the fetus. It’s less certain, though, that these enhancements will also benefit learning and intelligence.
Pregnant women and nursing mothers who take fish oil supplements may notice an improvement in their child’s eye health, as well as a decreased likelihood of developing allergies. Early advancement and growth are greatly aided by omega-3 fatty acids. It is unknown whether prenatal fish oil supplements help cognitive development or IQ, however, they may improve motor skills in infants and pregnant women.
Potential to lower liver fat
A possible contributor to weight growth is the liver, which is responsible for metabolizing the vast majority of your body’s fat. The accumulation of fat in the liver, known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), is becoming increasingly prevalent. Fish oil supplements have been shown to promote liver health and swelling, which in turn may significantly lower NAFLD signs and liver fat. People who are overweight often suffer from liver disease. It’s possible that taking fish oil capsules will help lessen liver fat and other NAFLD indicators.
May reduce depressive symptoms
The World Health Organization predicts that by the year 2030, depression would overtake asthma as the leading cause of death worldwide. Previous research suggests that persons with serious depression have decreased levels of omega-3s in their blood. However, so far the outcomes have been all over the place.
Oils high in EPA have been demonstrated to alleviate depression symptoms more so than DHA has, according to a few studies. Once again, more investigation is required. It has been suggested that taking fish oil supplements, particularly those high in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), can alleviate depressive symptoms.
Possibility of assisting kids’ focus and reducing their hyperactivity
Hyperactivity and inattention are symptoms of a range of neurodevelopmental disorders in children, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Since the brain contains a lot of omega-3s, receiving enough of them early in life could be crucial for warding against certain diseases. When given to youngsters, fish oil supplements may reduce their aggressiveness, distractibility, impulsiveness, and violence. That could help kids out in the long run. However, more study is required. Children with neurodevelopmental disorders may face difficulties in school due to their condition. Studies have shown that using fish oil capsules can help lower hyperactivity, attention deficit, and related behaviors.
May aid in preventing signs of mental deterioration
Brain function declines with age, and the chance of Alzheimer’s disease grows. People who consume more fish have a slower rate of cognitive impairment as they age. However, there is no definitive proof that fish oil products help halt the decrease of brain activity in older persons.
Despite this, research suggests that fish oil may aid cognition in healthy older persons. People who consume more fish experience a slower mental deterioration with age. It is uncertain, however, if fish oil supplementation helped prevents or ameliorate mental decline in the elderly.
Potentially reduces asthma attacks and allergy susceptibility
In some cases, it can reduce the likelihood of asthma attacks and allergic reactions. Asthma, which can develop pulmonary edema and difficulty breathing, is becoming increasingly prevalent in newborns. Several studies indicate that fish oil may improve asthma symptoms, particularly in children. However, not all investigations have yielded the same findings. In an older assessment of over 100,000 people, it was revealed that a mother’s fish or omega-3 consumption reduced the incidence of childhood asthma by 24–29%. Moreover, fish oil supplementation during pregnancy may lessen the likelihood of newborn allergies.
The Bottom Line
Omega-3s aid in the growth and development of the brain and the eyes. They assist reduce swelling and have been linked to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and cognitive impairment. People who are at risk for various health problems may benefit from ingesting fish oil due to its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. Two servings of oily fish a week can give enough omega-3s, but consuming whole foods is nearly always preferable to taking pills. When it comes to illness prevention, fish is just as good as fish oil. However, if you don’t eat fish, fish oil products are a healthy option.
The advantages of fish oil have been supported by research, but like any dietary supplement, it could have unwanted side effects or interfere with other drugs. You should discuss the potential side effects and benefits of taking fish oil with your doctor before beginning treatment. If your doctor gives you the go-ahead to take fish oil, be sure to listen to their advice on how much to take and how often and let them know if any adverse reactions occur.