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So what’s so good about fish oil supplements? The answer is their omega-3 fatty acids that are found primarily in fish and other marine algae. Two types of fatty acids – EPA (eicosapentaenoic) and DHA (docosahexaenoic) are primarily responsible for fish oil benefits. Fish oil is usually extracted from oily fish like tuna, herring, anchovies, and sometimes the liver of codfish.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating at least 1-2 portions of oily fish per week since the omega-3 fatty acids protect the body against diseases. Almost 1/3rd of the fish oil is omega-3s and rest is fats and Vitamins A and D. It is widely believed that fatty acids found in fish are better than those found in plants.
Eating well fends off several diseases and keeps you healthy. If you’re not sure about the nutritional intake, consult certified nutritionists with FITFEAST. Get customized daily diets from your nutritionist.
Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for normal brain function because up to 60% of the brain is made up of omega-3 fats. Studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acid deficiency causes certain mental disorders. Research also suggests that fish oil benefits those who are at risk of developing psychotic disorders. Fish oil supplements can decrease the symptoms or prevent the onset of mental disorders altogether. It may be beneficial enough to reduce the symptoms of chronic mental problems like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
To fight infections and to treat injuries, the immune system causes inflammation. However, chronic inflammation may lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression. The anti-inflammatory properties can help treat symptoms of these diseases. Fish oil benefits include reduced chronic inflammation. Fish oil reduces the production and gene expression of cytokines – inflammatory molecules – in obese or stressed people.
Fish oil supplements are prescribed to osteoporosis and arthritis patients to reduce joint pain and stiffness, which it accomplishes to a significant degree. Finally, it is also good to treat IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) symptoms caused due to inflammation.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death across the globe but studies have shown that those who eat fish are at a lower risk of heart disease as compared to those who don’t. Similarly, fish oil benefits the heart.
While it doesn’t reduce the level of bad (LDL) cholesterol, it does increase the level of good (HDL) cholesterol
Fish oil significantly lowers triglycerides levels in the blood
The smallest doses of fish oil benefits people with high levels of blood pressure
Artery blockage is caused due to plaque. Fish oil may prevent the accumulation of plaque in the arteries
Abnormal heart rhythms known as arrhythmia, which can be fatal for some people can be avoided by consuming fish oil supplements
Almost 30% of all the people around the world are overweight while around 13% are obese. Obesity is characterized by a body mass index (BMI) that exceeds 30. These percentages are higher in countries with higher incomes. Obesity is related to a high risk of cancer, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes. Fish oil benefits include improved body composition and a lowered risk of heart disease in obese people. Studies suggest that regulating diet, taking fish oil supplements, and exercising regularly helps lose weight.
The eyes need omega-3 fatty acids just like the brain to function normally. People with omega-3 fatty acids deficiency are at a higher risk of eye diseases. Age-related eye problems could be managed by eating fish better than taking fish oil supplements. However, consuming high doses of fish oil for up to 20 weeks can improve vision in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients.
Depression is one of the fastest-growing illnesses throughout the world. Research has shown that omega-3 levels are low in people with major depression. Fish oil benefits depression patients by decreasing symptoms. Studies suggest that fish oil rich in EPA is better than DHA in reducing depressive symptoms.
Low levels of attention and hyperactivity characterize attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children. Getting enough omega-3 fatty acids during early life can prevent behavioral disorders since a majority of the brain is made up of omega-3s. Fish oil supplements improve impulsiveness, aggression, inattention, and perceived hyperactivity in children.
Bones lose minerals with age, which makes them weaker and causes them to break more easily. Reduced bone density might lead to osteoarthritis or osteoporosis. While the bones need calcium and Vitamin D, they might need omega-3 fatty acids as well. Higher omega-3 intake is associated with higher bone mineral density. Fish oil benefits the bone mineral density and reduces markers of bone breakdown.
Apart from these, fish oil benefits include improved asthma symptoms, decreased risk of allergies, and preventing mental decline.