What are the major benefits of fish oil?

Published at: 18.05.2022 09:10

Fish oil is one of the most important nutrients that have many benefits for your overall health. Because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help maintain normal brain function and eye development. That’s not all! They also have the ability to fight inflammation which means that these fatty acids could help prevent heart disease. Furthermore, omega 3 acids can even slow down the process of declining brain function with age. Read our article to understand “what are the major benefits of fish oil”!

What exactly is Fish oil?

Fish oil, as the name suggests is the oil (fat) that has been extracted from fish tissue. It’s a typical source of oily fish like herring, anchovies, tuna, and mackerel. However, sometimes it can be produced also from the livers of other fish, which is how cod liver oil is extracted.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), you should consume 1–2 portions of fish per week. As you already may guess the reason, it is because the omega-3 fatty acids in fish implement many health benefits. However, not everyone can eat this amount of fish in a week, so for those who aren’t capable of doing so, fish oil supplements can help them get enough omega-3 fatty acids.

It is interesting to note that in almost all supplements, the percentage of omega 3s is around 30%, while the other 70% is made up of other types of fat. Furthermore, fish oil typically contains some amounts of vitamin A and D. However omega 3 fatty acids aren’t only found in fish, but in some plant sources as well. Although these types of omega-3s do not have the same health-beneficial value, as the ones derived from fish. 

There are two main types of omega-3s in fish oil, which are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The form that is found in plant sources is mainly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This type of omega 3s is also essential however EPA and DHA have many more health benefits.

What are the major benefits of Fish Oil?

As we mentioned above these fatty acids help maintain a normal brain function throughout aging, healthy eyes sight, and much more. Here are the major benefits for health of fish oil:

1.Could potentially support heart health

It appears that not one, but multiple risk factors for heart disease can be reduced by the consumption of fish or fish oil. This is because it can:

  • Increase the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and may also lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
  • Decrease triglycerides by 15–30%.
  • Reduce blood pressure in people who have higher levels than normal.
  • Prevent the plaques that make arteries harden.

2.Fish Oil can help aid some mental health conditions

If you don’t know, your brain is made up of nearly 60% fat, furthermore much of this fat is in the form of omega-3 fatty acids. This is why they are so important for maintaining normal brain function. According to some studies, people that suffer from certain mental health conditions have lower omega-3 blood levels than normal.

Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids are able to prevent the beginning of symptoms of some mental health conditions or even improve them in people that already experience them. For example, fish oil could potentially reduce the chances of psychotic disorders in those who are at risk.

3.Fish Oil may help maintain healthy eyesight

Just like your brain, your eyes need omega-3 fatty acids in order to function properly. According to research, people who don’t get enough omega-3s have a greater risk of developing eye diseases. However, it is important to note that this positive effect does not implement to dry eye syndrome.  Eye health starts to deteriorate at old age, but consuming fish can help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. However, this beneficial effect doesn’t occur when taking fish oil supplements. 

4.Could help reduce inflammation 

Because fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties, it may assist in treating conditions that involve chronic inflammation. For example, chronic inflammation is linked to health conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Furthermore, omega 3 fatty acids can majorly reduce joint pain and stiffness. 

5.Fish oil could potentially help support healthy radiant skin

Your skin is made up of a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. However, with aging, skin health starts to deteriorate, especially after being exposed to the sun for years. That can lead to some serious damage or even speed up the process of skin aging. However fish oil might be beneficial for maintaining healthy skin throughout your life.

6.Could support pregnancy 

The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are essential for growth and development. Due to this fact, it is a good idea to get enough omega-3s during pregnancy and even while breastfeeding. If a pregnant woman consumes enough fish, or supplements with fish oil during these times that could potentially improve fetal brain development. Furthermore taking fish oil supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding can also improve the infant’s visual development and assist in reducing the risk of allergies.

Summary

The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil help maintain normal brain function and support eye health. They also fight inflammation and could help prevent heart disease and a decline in brain function. However, consuming fresh fish can be better than taking supplements, and eating two portions of oily fish per week can provide you with enough omega-3s. In case you aren’t able to consume fish, supplements are a good alternative.

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