If you had to guess the most used natural supplement in the country, you might be surprised to know that it’s fish oil. Nearly 8% of adults take it – which is actually quite a lot, as most people don’t take supplements at all.Whether you're among fish oil enthusiasts, or you're thinking about buying a fish oil supplement yourself, you might be curious about the exact benefits of the oil—and whether there any downsides to adding it to your diet. This video will cover everything you should know, starting with fish oil’s impressive range of possible health perks.
1. It may fight chronic inflammation
Inflammation is a vital part of the immune system's response to injury and infection. We need it to stay healthy and alive, but chronic inflammation, which causes this response to linger, can lead to pain and discomfort that won’t go away.
Oils extracted from fatty fish like sardines, anchovies, and mackerel provide two types of omega-3 fatty acids, called eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA for short, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA for short. These fatty acids are known to help lower inflammation, and generally, improve inflammatory conditions in the body. Inflammation is associated with premature aging and a number of diseases, so taking fish-derived omega-3s as a supplement may offer a broad spectrum of health protection.
2. It's thought to be heart-protective
As we get older, the importance of looking after our hearts only increases. Aging can cause changes in the heart and blood vessels, and your heart can't beat as fast during physical activity or times of stress as it did when you were younger. There are many ways to protect your heart, and supplementing with fish oil is thought to be one of them.
Thanks to its EPA and DHA content, fish oil has been shown to help increase “good” HDL cholesterol, lower fat deposits in the blood, reduce blood pressure, prevent plaques from forming in arteries, and prevent the hardening of the arteries. For all these reasons, experts think that including fish oil in your diet can support the health of your heart.
3. It can keep your skin healthy
So many of us focus on how to keep our insides healthy that we forget about the biggest organ in our body – our skin. Ageing, exposure to pollutants and irritants, and even not having a proper cleansing routine can all cause skin to become dry, oily, itchy, or pimply.
The foods we eat in our diet can greatly affect the quality of our skin, and fish oil is thought to be one of the best supplements to take for keeping skin healthy. Research suggests that diets low in omega-3 fatty acids may be linked to increased acne, while one study found that teenagers who consumed higher amounts of omega-3 rich fish and seafood tended to have fewer breakouts.
Experts also think that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids can have a positive influence on the skin’s hydration levels, helping to prevent early ageing.
4. It can help boost bone density
In the typical British and American diet, it's common to consume far more omega-6 fatty acids—which are found in plant oils, like corn and sunflower oils—than omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA and EPA. That imbalance is thought to be one of the reasons why there is such a high rate of low bone density in both men and women.
The good news is that older adults with higher omega-3 intakes have been shown to maintain greater bone density, making fish oil a potential fighter of age-related bone density loss. It’s even been researched and used by NASA for its role in preventing bone density loss in astronauts as a result of exposure to the weightlessness of space.
5. It’s good for healthy hair
Fish oil has long been used as a supplement for promoting hair growth, with hundreds of women swearing by the stuff to give them thicker, longer, shinier hair. But fish oil isn’t only supposed to be good for growth – it can also help to maintain a healthy scalp, thereby benefiting the health of your hair.
One study found that taking a supplement containing omega-3 fatty acids, like fish oil, could help with hair thinning. The women who took the supplement for 6 months lost less hair, and their hair also grew thicker.
It’s thought that since omega-3 has anti-inflammatory properties, fish oil helps to open up the hair follicles and promote hair growth, making up for daily hair loss. Additionally, as omega-3 is a healthy fat, it can prevent a dry and flaky scalp.
6. It can support eye health
It’s natural for our eye health to decrease over time, but there are things we can do to protect our eyes to some extent, and eating the right foods in our diet is a big part of this. Fish oil in particular has been found to promote eye health, thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids it contains.
In particular, research shows that fish oil can help lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration. This condition, which tends to worsen as we get older, can result in vision loss and blurred vision. Consuming fish oil is also known to help people who suffer from dry eyes.
7. It could lower child asthma risk
As fish oil has a wealth of anti-inflammatory properties, experts think that it could help with one of the most prevalent inflammatory diseases of all time, asthma. Asthma causes a person’s lungs to become inflamed and produce extra mucus, which makes it difficult to breathe. Luckily, asthma can be treated both medically and naturally, and fish oil is thought to be a food that can help.
Research suggests women who consume fish oil during pregnancy could reduce the risk of asthma in their children. Another small study even found that consuming fish oil during pregnancy reduced infant allergies.
It’s important to note, however, that you should always speak to your doctor before taking fish oil during pregnancy, to discuss getting the proper dosage and form.
8. It may help keep your brain sharp and healthy
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and there’s plenty we can do to keep our brains sharp and reduce the risk of mental illness. Studies have found that people suffering from depression and anxiety have lower levels of omega-3s in their bloodstream, suggesting that an increase in omega-3s may help to keep mental illness at bay.
What's more, when used alongside standard antidepressant therapies, fish oil supplementation has been proven to be beneficial in the treatment of depression compared to a placebo.
In another study, fish oil was found to improve cognitive performance in healthy adults between the ages of 51 and 72 in just five weeks, compared with the effects of a placebo. Research so far suggests that fish oil can have an incredible impact on the brain, especially when it comes to mild memory loss.
9. It can help you stay physically fit
The way that our bodies look and feel is partly down to our exercising habits, but mostly down to our daily diets. Eating the right foods is essential if you want to stay strong and healthy late into life, and fish oil is one of the best supplements you can take for this.
Some research has linked omega-3s to fat loss, and supplemental fish oil has also been shown to slow the decline in muscle mass and function in men and women between 60 and 85. The good fats if fish oil has been found to encourage muscle protein growth, and improve muscle mass, even in older adults who don’t exercise often.
It can also encourage an increase in muscle strength in people who practice resistance training. Some research even suggests that fish oil may have an indirect effect on weight management, by stimulating areas in the brain that control food intake.
10. It can reduce arthritis pain
Another incredibly common inflammatory disease is arthritis, a condition that is thought to affect one in every five adults. Arthritis affects people’s joints, either through inflammation or through cartilage degeneration. It can cause pain, discomfort, and stiffness that can negatively affect a person’s wellbeing.
The role of fatty acids in reducing inflammation suggests that they may help treat rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have found that the EPA and DHA in fish oil had a positive effect on joint swelling and pain.
Experts also think that these omega-3 fatty acids can help to improve morning stiffness in the joints, which is another symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. Aside from curcumin and vitamin D, fish oil is one of the most beneficial supplements that can currently be taken to reduce arthritis symptoms.
Supplementing with fish oil
You can find fish oil in, as you’d expect, fish and seafood, especially cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines. But if you’re not a seafood fan, you may want to think about supplementing to make sure you get your daily intake.
You can also find smaller amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in nuts and seeds, like walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds, as well as plant oils, like canola oil and soybean oil. These foods probably won’t offer enough omega-3 benefits, as people don’t tend to include them in their diets in high quantities.
Supplementing with fish oil is an easy way to make sure you get the omega-3 intake that your body needs. You can simply take it once a day, either in tablet or liquid form, and enjoy the benefits of the supplement long into the future.
Given this long list of potential fish oil benefits, you may be ready to start hunting for all the fish oil you can get your hands on. But keep in mind that there is such thing as getting too much of a good thing.
Fish oil has a blood-thinning effect, so if you take too much of it, you can increase bleeding risk. This is especially the case if you combine fish oil with other blood thinners, like aspirin, or supplemental vitamin E, garlic, ginger, ginseng, ginkgo, and turmeric.
Fish oil can also interact with some prescription medications, so it’s always wise to discuss with your doctor before you start taking a pill, just to stay on the safe side.
You might not even need a supplement if you eat a lot of fatty fish already. You should only consider taking fish oil supplements if you actually don’t get enough omega 3s in your current diet alone – as your body is missing out on the amazing benefits they can provide.
Whatever your reason for taking fish oil supplements, you can guarantee they’ll work to improve the health of your whole body, from your skin and hair to your heart and brain.
You can buy them from most health stores or online – just make sure you buy from a trusted retailer with plenty of positive reviews. CLICK BELOW TO FIND THE BEST SUPPLEMENTS
- FOR YOUR HEART 200-count, 1200 milligram, 360 milligram of Omega-3, Fish Oil Softgels. Omega-3 Fish Oil is among the superfoods whose benefits may include lowering the risk of coronary heart disease.
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- DEEP OCEAN FISH: Deep ocean fish naturally offer an abundance of healthy omega-3s. Nature Made Fish Oils come from wild caught, deep ocean water fish—not farm raised fish.
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