Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of a healthy diet. It provides various benefits for both brain and the body.
Our bodies only get omega-3 acids from outside sources as we can’t make them, unlike other nutrients. As fish is rich in these acids, you should have a healthy serving of this seafood per week. Supplementing with fish oil provides a great boost.
But, what is fish oil and how does it help? Keep on reading to learn what it is, the benefits of fish oil, and how to take it.
What Is Fish Oil?
Fish oil contains two omega-3 fatty acids. These are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). It’s available as a prescription or supplement.
Doctors may prescribe fish oil medications to lower your triglyceride levels. Supplements are not as potent as prescriptions. Still, people can use the latter for heart and mental health.
Benefits of Fish Oil
Can fish oil improve our health? Explore the benefits of fish oil below.
1. Reduced Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response to infection and injuries. You could say it’s a good thing, but only when it does what it’s supposed to do. Chronic inflammation, though, isn’t a good thing. It’s associated with diseases, cancer, depression, and even obesity. One way to manage these diseases is to manage the inflammation.
This is where fish oil, which has some anti-inflammatory effects, comes into play. It can help reduce the production of cytokines. These are signaling molecules that regulate inflammation among other responses.
It’s especially useful in managing rheumatoid arthritis, reducing joint pain and stiffness. But, as of the moment, there’s no evidence it helps with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
2. Reduced Risk for Acute Coronary Syndrome
Acute coronary syndrome refers to a wide range of conditions, which involve the sudden blockage or reduction of the blood flow to the heart. It’s a serious emergency that can cause cell death because of the blocked blood flow. At the least, it can change how your heart works and increases your risk of a coronary condition such as a heart attack.
A diet with lots of fish can lower your risk of developing ACS. Four or five servings of fish per week provide huge benefits.
Even an extra serving of 100g per week is helpful in significantly reducing the risks. Complementing this diet with fish oil is also going to help you avoid this heart condition.
3. Lowered Blood Pressure
If you’re experiencing elevated blood pressures, you may be able to lower it at a manageable level with fish oil. It may decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. It’s especially effective in people with high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels.
What about people with low blood pressure? You’ll have to talk with your doctor about that.
4. Reduction in Liver Fat
The liver is one of the largest organs in the body – and one of the most important, too. It has over 500 tasks to keep the body in tip-top shape. One of these is breaking down fats.
It converts excess protein and carbohydrates for storage and later use. It also synthesizes fat by producing bile to break down and absorb fat.
There’s no doubt the liver is a busy organ, so it’s also prone to developing serious diseases. All that fat it processes can accumulate, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
This is where fish oil can help. It may reduce the amount of fat in your liver and reduce the symptoms of NAFLD.
5. Improved Bone Health
We all know that calcium is a crucial element for healthy bones. However, omega-3 fatty acids play an important role, too.
Higher omega-3 intake can lead to higher bone mineral density. This can help prevent bone diseases, such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Many fish oil supplements have Vitamin D, too, which is also important for bone health.
6. Managing Mental Disorders
Did you know that the brain is almost 60% fat? And, much of this fat is omega-3 fatty acids. This is why omega-3s are essential for brain function.
Furthermore, researchers found certain mental disorders to cause lower omega-3 levels. It makes sense why fish oil supplements would be good for the brain.
By encouraging normal brain functions, fish oil supplements can help prevent the onset of some mental disorders. One example is a psychotic disorder; people at risk can reduce the risks by taking fish oil.
It can also help reduce the symptoms of other mental disorders. It can help with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, for instance.
7. Prevention of Behavioral Disorders
Seeing as how omega-3s are important for brain function and development, it makes sense for these acids to affect the behavior, too, especially in the early years.
In early life, omega-3s can help prevent behavioral disorders. It may improve hyperactivity, impulsiveness, inattention, and even aggressiveness. This can then help children learn better.
8. Improved Eye Health
Your eyes also get benefits from omega-3s. This is why those who don’t get enough of these fatty acids are at a higher risk of eye diseases.
Fish oil may help prevent or reduce the effect of age-related macular degeneration. It’s a gradual disease that affects the part called macula in older people.
AMD can cause permanent and severe vision loss. It doesn’t cause total blindness, but you may be legally blind at the end of it.
Eating fish has links to decreased risks of the development of this disease. In this study, only fish and nuts were protective.
9. Healthy Skin
Omega-3s also keep our skin healthy in many ways. For one, it helps lessens our skin’s sensitivity to ultraviolet rays. As a result, you may experience less redness when exposed to UV rays. It can also reduce the symptoms of photosensitivity disorders, like blisters and rashes.
Fish oil may also help with your struggle with acne. Like we said above, it helps reduce inflammation. As acne has associations with inflammation, omega-3 may have an indirect effect this way.
Aside from the skin, your hair may also enjoy omega-3s. They may boost hair growth and prevent hair loss.
10. Prevention of Skin Diseases
Not only will it make our skin healthier as a whole, but it may also aid in wound healing and help fight against skin diseases, such as psoriasis and dermatitis. It’s great for moisturizing the skin and fighting dry or itchy skin.
It has these effects because omega-3s improve the skin barrier function. It’s your skin’s defense against toxins and germs. It also seals in the moisture.
11. Healthy Pregnancy
Pregnant women need a certain amount of omega-3 fatty acids. This is for the healthy growth and development of the fetus and the baby. However, people don’t usually consume enough sources to get the recommended amount.
That’s why fish oil supplementation is also good for pregnant women. They have to consume enough for both of them and the human they’re carrying or breastfeeding.
What makes these fatty acids so important? Well, we’ve mentioned earlier that omega-3s are the building blocks of the brain, eyes, and other fatty tissues. As such, they’re important for the development of these organs while in the womb.
Fish oil is also beneficial for pregnant women in many ways. Taking it can help reduce their risks for early labor, postnatal depression, and more.
12. Reduced Risk of Asthma
Asthma is becoming common in infants, but fish oil can help prevent that. A pregnant woman getting enough omega-3s can help reduce the risk of asthma for their child.
It also has links to allergies. Mothers can also increase their omega-3 intake to help fight against childhood allergies.
13. Menstrual Pain Relief
Women don’t have to be pregnant to get fish oil benefits, though. They can also take fish oil for menstrual pain among other benefits. It may also help against other menstrual symptoms, such as headaches and fatigue.
This can be due to fish oil’s strong anti-inflammatory properties. And, without a doubt, there’s inflammation when women are experiencing menstrual cramps.
This connection can help you ease off the ibuprofen during the monthly visits. It may even make you feel less worried about all the pain and inconveniences these visits cause.
14. Improved Sleep Hygiene
Good sleep is one of the keys to good health. Without proper sleep, we’re more vulnerable to diseases. We’re more prone to developing depression, obesity, and diabetes among others.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try fish oil supplements. It can help raise your melatonin levels, which will help you fall asleep. It may also help you improve the quality of your sleep.
15. Weight Loss Aid
Around 39% of all adults in the world are overweight, and 13% are obese. These are ones at higher risk of developing heart conditions. As it’s associated with a poor diet, it can also lead to other diseases as well as cancer.
Taking fish oil supplements may help you prevent these diseases. It will also help in losing weight. However, note that it’s not a miracle pill that will cause you to shed pounds of weight in an instant. You should take it alongside exercise and a healthy diet.
It can help you hit your goals faster and more healthily. Fish oil can also help you reduce your waist circumference.
How to Take Fish Oil
Fish oil is a daily supplement that you can take whenever it suits you. It’s safe even without a prescription. You can, however, follow our tips below to get the best out of it.
Split It into Two Doses
Fish oil, like any other substance, has side effects that you may or may not experience at all. One of which is acid reflux. It’s what happens when the acid from the stomach flows back to the esophagus.
A contributing factor to this might be the oil floating on top of the stomach’s contents. It can also be the fat in the fish oil that triggers this effect.
Regardless, acid reflux a common side effect of taking fish oil. You may feel a burning pain in the lower chest area. You can avoid this, though, by taking fish oil supplements from www.DignityBioLabs.com in two doses.
Take one in the morning then another at night, but remember to take it with meals.
Take It With Food
You should also take the supplements alongside a meal to avoid acid reflux. You can also fight indigestion and some other side effects this way.
Take your fish oil supplement right before you eat your meal. This will also help your body absorb the omega-3 fatty acids better.
Take It Everyday
However, what is more, important is that you take it every day. Fish oil supplements don’t have an immediate effect. Rather, it’s for long-term use.
Find a way to make sure you don’t miss your daily dose. For many people, it’s easier to take their supplements first thing in the morning. For others, it’s easier to remember it at night.
You’ll have to find a way that works for you. After all, it doesn’t matter what time of the day you take it as long as you take one.
Check the Labels
There’s no official recommended daily allowance for fish oil. However, most health organizations recommend a daily intake of 250 mg to 500 mg of EPA and DHA combined.
When buying fish oil, you must first check how much omega-3 fatty acids it contains. In many cases, 1000 mg of fish oil has around 30% or 300 mg of combined EPA and DHA. The other 70% of fish oil consists of other fats, and it usually contains vitamins A and D.
This is enough for one dose for healthy men and women. For certain conditions, you may have to take a higher dosage. Up to 3,000 mg is safe for adults.
Talk to your doctor before going over the recommended 500 mg, though.
Improve Your Health With Fish Oil Supplements
From the benefits of fish oil above, you can improve the quality of your health and life. However, you must talk to your doctor first, especially if you have a condition or you’re taking medications.
Of course, fish oil is only one of the many healthy additions to include in your diet. To discover even more, we invite you to continue reading more of our health and fitness guides right here, right now!