12 Benefits Of Taking Fish Oil
12 Benefits of Taking Fish Oil
Fish oil is one of the most commonly consumed dietary supplements.
It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are very important for your health.
If you don’t eat a lot of oily fish, taking a fish oil supplement could help you get enough omega-3 fatty acids.
Here is an evidence-based guide to fish oil supplements and their health benefits.
Below are 13 of the many health benefits of fish oil:
1. Fish Oil Can Be Good for Heart Health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.
Studies have shown that people who eat a lot of fish have much lower rates of heart disease.
There are a number of risk factors for heart disease, and many of these appear to be reduced by fish or fish oil consumption.
BOTTOM LINE:Fish oil supplementation can help reduce some of the risks associated with heart disease. However, there is no clear evidence that it can prevent heart attacks or strokes.
2. Fish Oil May Help Treat Certain Mental Disorders
Your brain is made up of nearly 60% fat, and much of this fat is omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, omega-3s are essential for normal brain function.
BOTTOM LINE:Fish oil supplementation can improve the symptoms of certain psychiatric disorders. This effect may be a result of increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake.
3. Fish Oil Supplementation May Help Reduce Weight and Waist Circumference
Fish oil supplementation may improve body composition and risk factors for heart disease in obese people.
4. Fish Oil May Support Eye Health and Help Protect Vision in Old Age
Similarly to the brain, omega-3 fats make up an important part of the structure of the eye. Evidence has shown that people who don’t get enough omega-3s have a greater risk of eye diseases.
BOTTOM LINE:Eating fish may help prevent eye diseases. However, it’s unclear whether fish oil supplementation has this same effect.
5. Fish Oil May Reduce Inflammation and Symptoms of Inflammatory Disease
Fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties and can help treat diseases that involve chronic inflammation.
Moreover, fish oil supplementation can significantly reduce joint pain, stiffness and medication needs in people with rheumatoid arthritis, a disease in which inflammation leads to painful joints.
BOTTOM LINE:Fish oil has strong anti-inflammatory effects and can help reduce symptoms of inflammatory diseases, especially rheumatoid arthritis.
6. Fish Oil May Have Skin Benefits
The skin is the largest organ in the human body, and it contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids.
Skin health can decline throughout your life, especially during old age or after too much sun exposure.
Fortunately, there are a number of skin disorders that may benefit from fish oil supplementation, including psoriasis and dermatitis.
BOTTOM LINE:Your skin can become damaged by too much sun exposure or during old age. Fish oil supplementation may help maintain healthy skin.
7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids From Fish Oil Are Very Important During Pregnancy and Early Life
Omega-3s are essential for early growth and development.
Therefore, it’s important for mothers to get enough omega-3s during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
BOTTOM LINE:Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for early growth and development. Fish oil supplementation in mothers or infants may improve eye development, although its effect on learning and IQ is unclear.
8. Fish Oil May Reduce Liver Fat
Your liver processes most of the fat in your body and can play a big role in weight gain.
The prevalence of liver disease is rapidly rising, particularly non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which involves the accumulation of fat in the liver.
Fish oil supplementation can improve liver function and inflammation in humans, which may help reduce symptoms of NAFLD and the amount of fat in the liver.
BOTTOM LINE:Liver disease is common in obese individuals. Fish oil supplementation may help reduce fat in the liver and symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
9. Fish Oil Supplementation Can Help Improve Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
Depression is predicted to become the second leading cause of disease burden globally by 2030.
Interestingly, people with major depression appear to have lower blood levels of omega-3s.
Studies have shown that fish oil and omega-3 supplementation can improve symptoms of depression.
BOTTOM LINE:Fish oil supplementation may help improve symptoms of depression, especially EPA-rich supplements.
10. Fish Oil May Improve Attention and Hyperactivity in Children
A number of behavioral disorders in children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), involve hyperactivity and inattention.
BOTTOM LINE:Behavioral disorders in children can interfere with learning and development. Fish oil supplementation has been shown to help reduce hyperactivity, inattention and other behaviors.
11. Fish Oil May Improve Asthma Symptoms and the Risk of Allergies
Asthma, a lung disorder that can cause swelling in the lungs and shortness of breath, is becoming much more common in infants.
A number of studies have shown that fish oil may reduce asthma symptoms, especially in early life.
BOTTOM LINE:A higher intake of fish and fish oil during pregnancy may reduce the risk of childhood asthma and allergies.
12. Fish Oil May Improve Bone Health
During old age, bones can begin to lose their essential minerals, making them more likely to break. This can lead to diseases such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Calcium and vitamin D are known to be very important for bone health, but some studies have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids can also be beneficial.
People with higher omega-3 intakes and blood levels may have better bone mineral density (BMD).