Fish oil is one of the most common supplements in the diet. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a very important acid for health.
If you do not eat a lot of fish with a high oil content, taking a fish oil tablet may help you to get enough omega-3 fatty acids.
This is a grounded advice about fish oil supplementation and its health benefits.
What is fish oil and why do you care about it?
Fish oil is the type of fat or oil extracted from fish tissue.
They are usually taken from fish containing high oil content such as herring, tuna, anchovies and mackerel. But sometimes fish oil is also produced from the liver of other fish, such as cod liver oil.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating 1-2 servings of fish each week. The reason is because omega-3 fats in fish are very good Many health benefits , including helping you avoid some diseases.
But if you do not eat 1-2 servings of fish per week, fish oil supplement will help you get enough omega-3 content. About 30% of the ingredients in fish oil are made up of omega-3, while 70% The rest is made up of other fats. Therefore, crude fish oil contains some vitamins A and D.
It is important to note that the types of omega-3 present in fish oils are healthier than the omega-3s obtained from plant sources.
The main Omega-3s in fish oils include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), while omega-3 is derived from major plant sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Although ALA is an important essential fatty acid, EPA and DHA offer more health benefits .
Another reason why it is important to provide adequate levels of omega-3 is because the Western diet has replaced so many omega-3s with other fats like omega-6. The percentage of these fatty acids altered like this may contribute to a number of diseases due to Western-style lifestyles .
Here are 13 of the many health benefits of fish oil.
first . Fish oil is good for cardiovascular health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide .
Research shows that people who eat a lot of fish have much lower rates of heart disease .
There are a number of risk factors that cause heart disease, and it seems that reducing fish oil consumption accounts for a large part of these factors.
The benefits of fish oil for cardiovascular health include:
- M Cholesterol in the body: Fish oil may increase HDL ("good cholesterol") cholesterol levels in the body. However, it does not seem to be able to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) in the body .
- Triglyceride : Fish oil can reduce neutral lipid levels by 15-30% .
- Blood pressure: Even in small doses, fish oil can help lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure .
- Atherosclerosis: Fish oil can prevent plaque from forming in the arteries and cause them to shrink, as well as make arterial plaque more stable and safe for people with this disease .
- Deadly arrhythmia: In people at high risk for this disease, fish oil may reduce the events of lethal arrhythmias. occurs when heart beats irregularly and can cause a heart attack in some cases .
Although supplementing with fish oil may improve many of the risk factors for heart disease, there is no clear evidence that it can prevent heart attacks or strokes .
Summary: Fish oil supplementation may help reduce some of the risks associated with heart disease. However, there is no clear evidence that fish oil can prevent heart attacks or strokes.
2. Fish oil may also help treat some mental disorders
Your brain is made up of nearly 60% fat, of which omega-3 fatty acids are the majority. Therefore, omega-3s are essential for normal brain function .
In fact, some studies have shown that people with certain mental disorders have low blood levels of omega-3 .
Interestingly, research shows that fish oil supplementation can prevent outbreaks or improve symptoms of some mental disorders. For example, it may reduce the risk of neurological disorders in people who are likely to become ill .
In addition, fish oil supplementation in high doses can reduce some symptoms of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder .
Summary: Fish oil supplementation can improve the symptoms of certain other mental disorders. This effect may be a result of increased omega-3 supplementation.
3. Fish oil supplement can help you lose weight and shrink your waist
When you have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30, you are suffering from obesity. About 39% of adults worldwide suffer from overweight, of which 13% are obese. These numbers are even higher in high-income countries like the US .
Obesity can significantly increase the risk of other diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer .
Fish oil supplementation can improve body structure and prevent risk factors for heart disease among obese people .
Moreover, some studies show that you can lose weight thanks to fish oil supplementation, combined with a healthy diet or exercise exercises .
However, not all studies have achieved similar results. .
According to an analysis from 21 studies, fish oil supplementation did not have a significant weight loss effect in obese individuals, but it reduced waist measurement and waist rate - hips .
Summary: Supplementing fish oil can help you lose weight and shrink your waist. It can also help limit weight gain when combined with other weight loss methods.
4. Fish oil can support eyes and help protect your eyesight when you get older
Similar to the brain, omega-3 fats play an important role in the structure of the eye. Evidence suggests that people who do not get adequate levels of omega-3 have a higher risk of eye diseases .
Moreover, your eyes begin to weaken as they age, leading to a condition due to age (AMD).
It seems that eating fish will help prevent AMD, but the effectiveness of preventing this disease based on fish oil supplementation is not highly convincing .
One study showed that consuming a large amount of fish head in four and a half months would help improve vision in all AMD patients. However, this is only a very small study .
Two larger studies have examined the combined effects of omega-3 and other nutrients for AMD. One study showed a positive impact, while the other did not reach results. Therefore, the results are still unclear .
T summary: Eating fish may help prevent eye diseases. However, we are still uncertain and there is no clear evidence that whether fish oil supplementation will have the same effect.
5. Fish oil can reduce inflammation and symptoms of inflammatory disease
Inflammation is how the body's immune system fights infection and treats bodily lesions. However, sometimes there are long-lasting inflammation that is called chronic inflammation.
It can make certain chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, depression and heart disease worse .
In these cases, reducing inflammation can help treat symptoms of the disease.
Fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties and it can help treat chronic inflammatory diseases .
For example, for stressed and obese individuals, fish oil can reduce the generation and gene expression of inflammatory molecules called .
In addition, fish oil supplementation can significantly reduce pain and stiffness and reduce the amount of medication needed in people with chronic arthritis, a disease leading to arthritis .
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is another disorder caused by inflammation. However, there is no clear evidence that fish oil can improve symptoms of IBD .
Summary: Fish oil also has a strong anti-inflammatory effect and can help reduce symptoms of inflammatory disease, especially chronic arthritis.
6. Fish oil can benefit the skin
Skin is the largest organ in the human body, and it contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids .
Your healthy skin can become aging over time, especially in old age or after long exposure to the sun.
Fortunately, fish oil supplementation may be beneficial in preventing some skin disorders, including psoriasis and excessive seborrhea .
Summary: Your skin may be damaged by excessive sun exposure or aging. Fish oil supplementation can also help you maintain healthy skin.
7. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils are very important during pregnancy and early childhood stages
Omega-3s are essential for early growth and development .
Therefore, it is very important for mothers to take adequate amounts of omega-3 during pregnancy and during breastfeeding.
The supplementation of fish oil to mothers during pregnancy and breastfeeding can improve the development of eye-hand coordination in newborns.
However, it is unclear whether it can enhance intelligence and improve children's IQ .
Early fish oil supplementation in mothers can also improve the visual development of infants and help reduce the risk of allergies in children .
Summary: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for early growth and development (71). Fish oil supplementation in mothers or infants can improve eye development, despite its effectiveness for intelligence and IQ is still unclear.
8. Fish oil may decrease fat in the liver
Your liver functions to handle most of the body's fat and it can play a big role in weight gain.
Liver disease is rapidly becoming popular, especially (NAFLD) that involves the accumulation of fat in the liver .
Fish oil supplementation can improve liver function and inflammation in humans, help reduce symptoms of NAFLD and reduce fat in the liver .
Summary: Liver disease is common in obese people. Fish oil supplementation may help reduce fat in the liver and symptoms of fatty liver disease are not caused by alcohol.
9. Fish oil supplement may help improve symptoms of depression and anxiety
It is predicted that depression will become the second leading cause of global disease burden by 2030 .
Interestingly, people with severe depression have very low levels of omega-3 in their blood .
Research has shown that fish oil and omega-3 supplements can improve the symptoms of depression .
Moreover, some studies have shown that EPA-rich oils will help reduce depression symptoms better than DHA .
Summary: Supplementing fish oil, especially from rich sources of EPA, can help improve the symptoms of depression.
10. Fish oil can improve attention and hyperactivity in children
Many behavioral disorders in children such as (ADHD) has been linked to hyperactivity and poor attention.
Because omega-3 accounts for a significant proportion of the brain, adequate supplementation of these substances is important in preventing childhood behavioral disorders .
Fish oil supplementation may improve cognitive hyperactivity, lack of attention, impulsivity and violence in children. This will bring many benefits to your child's childhood learning .
Summary: Behavioral disorders in children can affect children's learning and development. Scientists have shown that fish oil supplementation will help reduce hyperactivity, inattention and other behaviors.
11. Fish oil can help prevent mental impairment symptoms
The more you age, the slower your brain function, and the risk of Alzheimer's increases.
People who eat a lot of fish tend to have less decline in brain function in old age .
However, studies of fish oil supplementation in the elderly do not provide clear evidence that fish oil may slow down brain function .
However, some small studies have shown that fish oil can improve memory in healthy older adults .
Summary: People who eat a lot of fish will have a slower decline in their intellectual age. However, it is still unclear whether fish oil supplementation can prevent or improve mental impairment in the elderly.
12. Fish oil can improve asthma symptoms and the risk of allergies
Asthma is a type of lung disorder that can cause pneumonia and shortness of breath, which is becoming more common in babies.
Some studies have shown that fish oil can reduce asthma symptoms, especially in childhood .
A study incorporating the results of eleven other studies involving nearly 100,000 people found that the risk of asthma in children can be reduced by 24-29% thanks to the intake of some body big fish or omega-3 .
In addition, fish oil supplementation in pregnant women may reduce the infant's risk of allergy .
Summary: During pregnancy, mothers who eat large amounts of fish or fish oil may reduce the risk of asthma and allergies in their childhood.
13. Fish oil can improve health bone
In old age, your bones may lose essential minerals, leading to more fracture. This can lead to diseases like and .
We know that calcium and vitamin D are important for bone, but some studies have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may also be beneficial.
People with higher levels of omega-3 may have higher bone mineral density (BMD) .
However, we are still not sure whether fish oil supplementation can improve BMD .
Several small studies have shown that fish oil supplementation helps reduce signs of osteoarthritis, which can prevent bone diseases .
Summary: The introduction of large amounts of omega-3, combined with high bone density, may help prevent bone disease. However, there is no clear evidence that fish oil supplementation benefits bone.
How to supplement fish oil
If you don't eat 1-2 servings of fish that contain a lot of oil every week, you might consider adding fish oil to your body.
Here is a list of things to keep in mind when taking fish oil supplements:
The recommended amount of EPA and DHA depends on your age and health.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a combined amount of EPA and DHA about 0.2-0.5 grams daily. But this dose may need to be increased if you are pregnant, nursing or at risk of heart disease .
Choose an additional fish oil that can provide at least 0.3 grams (300 mg) EPA and DHA for each use.
Fish oil can be used in some form like (EE), triglycerides (TG), innovative triglycerides (rTG), trans fatty acids (FFA) and (PL).
The body does not absorb fish oil in the form of Ethyl esters as well as other forms, so choose fish oil supplement with one of the other forms mentioned above .
Many complementary fish oils contain up to 1000 mg of fish oil per serving, of which only 300 mg EPA and DHA are available.
Read the labels and choose the one that contains at least 500 mg of EPA and DHA in every 1,000 mg of fish oil.
Some additional fish oils do not contain the same substances as they appear on the packaging .
To avoid these products, choose the "tested by a third party" or have standards about purity.
Omega-3 fatty acids are easily oxidized and rancid.
To avoid this, you can choose which ones contain antioxidants, such as vitamin E. Also, keep them where there is no direct sunlight, ideally in the refrigerator.
Do not use additional fish oil that has a rancid smell or expires.
Select additional fish oil with durable certification, such as certification (MSC) or .
Fish oil products extracted from anchovies and small fish are more durable than fish oil products from big fish.
Other dietary fats help absorb omega-3 fatty acids .
So, you should combine fish oil supplements with a meal that contains fat.
Summary: Check the manual of additional fish oil before buying. In addition, you should choose high concentrations of EPA and DHA and have a certificate of purity and durability.
Omega-3 supports normal brain and eye development. They are anti-inflammatory and may help prevent heart disease and impair brain function.
Fish oil contains a lot of omega-3, so people with disorders may benefit from fish oil.
When you buy additional fish oil, make sure you read the labels to check for purity, concentration, form and durability.
However, using fresh food is always better than taking a supplement, and eating two servings of oily fish each week can give you enough omega-3.
In fact, many of the studies mentioned above show that eating fish is effective in preventing many similar diseases, sometimes even better, using fish oil.
As mentioned, if you don't eat enough fish, you can add fish oil to get enough omega-3.