By now, most of us have heard that fish oil is beneficial for your heart and cardiovascular system. Fish oil is the fatty acid that comes from the flesh and tissue of oily fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines anchovies, and herring. The filets of these fish can contain up to 30% omega-3 fatty acids and include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA have garnered significant attention as key components for healthy aging.
Fish oil, and EPA and DHA promote the body’s anti-inflammatory processes, and are utilized throughout the body, nourishing and promoting the health of cell membranes and tissues. Both EPA and DHA are necessary for the proper development of fetuses and DHA is key for healthy development of the brain and retina.
Most Americans have an excess of omega-6 fats which come from fried and processed foods that are prepared with vegetable oils, like canola and corn oil. The average American has a 20:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fats, but for optimal health, a more ideal ratio is 2:1. Taking fish oil supplements, and eating lots of different foods that are high in Omega-3 fats can help you reach the proper ratio.
7 Health Benefits of Fish Oil
Numerous benefits are associated with taking fish oil. Here are some of the top health benefits of fish oil.
1. Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Fish oil can help keep your blood cholesterol levels within a normal range, by keeping healthy ratios of HDL to LDL, and by keeping your triglyceride levels in a beneficial range. Start with 3-6 grams per day, along with a diet that includes plenty of fresh oily fish, fruit, vegetables and fiber.
2. Bone Density
Females past the age of 50 start to lose bone density at a steady rate because their estrogen and progesterone hormone levels start to drop. This causes an increased risk of osteoporosis. Recent studies indicate that women who regularly take fish oil may have healthier and stronger bones. Calcium supplements are also very important along with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
3. Better Mood
Fish oil can help increase the levels of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is the hormone that helps keep you in a relaxed and peaceful state. Supplementing with fish oil allows your body to increase its own production and release of serotonin in the body. These elevated levels can help you manage everyday stress and feel better.
Other studies from Europe also highlight the importance of supplementing with Omega-3 during pregnancy and early in life to help combat future episodes of anxiety and depression. The journal Nutritional Neuroscience examined the effects of fish oil supplements on prefrontal metabolite concentrations in adolescents with major depressive disorder. The supplements led to an over 40% decrease in teen’s depression disorder symptoms and led to marked improvements in amino acid and nutrition content in the brain.
Research studies conducted by the University of South Australia have found that fish oil and evening primrose oil capsules can help individuals with ADHD, which commonly leads to hyperactivity, restlessness, and impulsive actions. According to the researchers, fish oil has a major impact on brain functioning. More than 50% of the brain is composed of fats, with the most important being polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Those with ADHD may benefit from a diet that is rich in whole grains, walnuts, linseeds and oily fish.
6. Celiac Disease
If you have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, it is extremely likely that you are suffering from some degree of malnutrition. This is because the condition affects the villi in the intestine, which are responsible for absorbing nutrients.
In addition to a completely gluten-free diet, many physicians recommend taking supplements with a focus on anti-inflammatory processes. Significant health problems may occur when these nutrients such as Omega-3’s are not being absorbed properly. Some recommendations call for a daily dosage of 1,000 mg EPA and 1,000 mg DHA, using a high-quality product that has low toxin and mercury levels. Take these for at least 6 months after your initial diagnosis.
7. Skin and Hair
Fish oil can be fantastic for your hair and skin! Omega-3’s nourish the skin with moisturizing fats and contribute fat-soluble vitamins that help the skin maintain a smooth, elastic texture. Some evidence even suggests that fish oil may help improve the appearance of wrinkles and even reverse the aging process from the inside out.
Diets deficient in EPA and DHA can lead to skin conditions such as dandruff, balding, eczema and psoriasis, as well as brown spots. Without the essential fatty acids, too much moisture leaves the skin. Frankly speaking the state of your health shows up on your skin. Taking fish oil and EPA and DHA supplements are probably better than applying conventional moisturizers.
Another major benefit is that these oils lead to healthier skin by reducing inflammation, can even improve conditions such as acne and eczema. Recent studies from Europe determined that fish oil is an effective treatment for psoriasis and a research study by the University of Manchester indicates that fish oil may reduce the risk of skin cancer. More research clearly needs to be done, but all indications show that fish oil may be a great preventative measure for those who are plagued with skin conditions, or who have a family history of skin cancer.
Taking Fish Oil Supplements
The types of fish that are most commonly used in fish oil supplements are anchovies, salmon, cod liver, mackerel, Pollock, sardines, halibut, tuna, and herring. For most people, a 1,000mg dose of fish oil daily is a reasonable amount and has the most scientific data to support it. Make sure you buy a fish oil in triglyceride form that also contains antioxidants to preserve them. If you have never purchased fish oil before, it may be worthwhile to go to your local vitamin or natural food store, to seek out advice about the best brands in your locale.
Hopefully this list of 7 health benefits of fish oil was helpful, if so please let us know below!