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. It's usually extracted from fish tissue such as herring, tuna, mackerel and anchovies.
Yet it’s sometimes produced from the livers of other fish, as is the case with cod liver oil.
Eating 1-2 portions of fish per week can be of great benefit according to World Health Organization (WHO). This is because the omega-3 fatty acids in fish provide many health benefits, including protection against a number of diseases.
However, if you don’t eat 1–2 servings of fish per week, fish oil supplements can help you get enough omega-3s.
It's been established that 30% of fish oil is made up of omega-3s, while the remaining 70% is made up of other fats. And also contains some vitamin A and D.
It’s important to note that the types of omega-3s found in fish oil have greater health benefits than the omega-3s found in some plant sources.
Here are some essential benefits you can get from fish oil
1. May Support Heart Health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.
Studies show that people who eat a lot of fish have much lower rates of heart disease.
The benefits of fish oil for heart health include:
* Cholesterol levels: It can increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. However, it does not appear to reduce levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol
* Blood pressure: Even in small doses, it helps reduce blood pressure in people with elevated levels
* Plaque: It may prevent the plaques that cause your arteries to harden, as well as make arterial plaques more stable and safer in those who already have them.
Fatal arrhythmias: In people who are at risk, it may reduce fatal arrhythmia events. Arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms that can cause heart attacks in certain cases.
2. May Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is your immune system’s way of fighting infection and treating injuries.
However, chronic inflammation is associated with serious illnesses, such as obesity, diabetes, depression, and heart disease.
Fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties, it may help treat conditions involving chronic inflammation. And it's supplements can reduce joint pain, stiffness, and other rheumatoid arthritis disease.
3. May Support Healthy Skin
Your skin is the largest organ in your 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.
That said, there are a number of skin disorders that may benefit from fish oil supplements, including psoriasis and dermatitis.
4. May Support 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.
Fish oil supplements in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers may improve hand eye coordination, visual development and help reduce the risk of allergies in infants.
5. May Support Eye Health
Like your brain, your eyes rely on omega-3 fats. Evidence shows that people who don’t get enough omega-3s have a greater risk of eye diseases.
Furthermore, eye health begins to decline in old age, which can lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Eating fish is linked to a reduced risk of AMD, but the results on fish oil supplements are less convincing.
However, consuming too much fish oil could actually take a toll on your health and lead to side effects such as high blood sugar, bleeding, diarrhea, low blood pressure, acid reflux and insomnia.
Stick to the recommended dosage and aim to get the majority of your omega-3 fatty acids from whole food sources to get the most nutritional gain.
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