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7 Benefits of Taking Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements

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Fish oil is a dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids — substances your body needs for several functions, from cell growth to muscle activity.

Omega-3 fatty acids are obtained from food. They cannot be produced in the body. Fish oil contains two omega-3s called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Dietary sources of EPA and DHA are fatty fish, such as salmon, trout and mackerel, and shellfish, such as crabs, mussels, and oysters. Some seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils contain another omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

Fish oil supplements come in capsule, pill, and liquid form.

So What Can Fish Oil Supplements Do For You?

Below are the top benefits that you can expect from fish oil supplements.

1. Fish Oil Helps to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Fish oil is admired for its cardio-protective properties due to its omega-3 fatty acid content.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to lower serum triglycerides and increase (“healthy”) cholesterol levels. It does this by decreasing the number of fatty acids taken to the liver, decreasing fatty acid synthesis, and inhibiting the enzymes that produce triglycerides in the blood. Less of the toxic substances floating around through our blood means that our heart can keep working efficiently. Studies have even shown that intake of omega-3 fatty acids is linked to a reduced risk of heart failure.

2. Fish Oil Helps in Reducing Inflammation

To avoid the number of side effects that can occur with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, many people take fish oil as an effective alternative to relieve inflammation. Omega-3s are believed to fight inflammation by throwing out a signal that stops inflammation and resolves it almost as soon as an inflammatory response is triggered. This can be especially useful for a number of conditions that involve chronic inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

3. Fish Oil Aids in Vision Problems and Helps to Improve Eye Health

Omega-3s are essential to our vision starting from childhood by helping in the development of normal vision. Research shows that preterm infants fed with formulas enriched with DHA (a component of fish oil) had healthier vision and perception than infants fed formulas without omega-3 supplementation. Omega-3s can also help decrease vision problems later in life, like macular degeneration and dry eye syndrome.

4. Fish Oil Supplementation Might Help With Weight Loss

It may seem counterintuitive that taking supplements with fatty acid can actually help in weight loss, but it’s true. A 2015 study confirmed the helpful calorie-burning effects of fish oil in an animal trial. The theory is that fish oil is able to change white fat into brown fat by activating a protein called UCP1. Brown fat tissue is more useful than white fat because it’s able to burn up more calories. More calories burnt leads to more weight loss.

5. Fish Oil Supplementation Can Help Prevent Alzheimer’s

One of the most promulgated benefits of fish oil is its ability to promote brain health. Fish oil has been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s, a destructive condition that affects nearly half of individuals over 85. Researchers have found that high serum levels of omega-3 can slow down brain atrophy by 70 percent. Another study found that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation was able to enhance memory function in adults ages 50-75 when compared to a placebo. Because of all the evidence that implies a link between omega-3 fatty acids and brain health, many health professionals are recommending wider use of fish oil to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

6. Fish Oil Helps to Improve Skin Health

Fish oil can also help to improve our skin health by keeping it soft and glowing. Fish oil keeps skin hydrated and helps increase the production of healthy skin cells. Fish oil has been linked with improvements in psoriasis and wrinkles.

7. Fish Oil Might Help to Treat Certain Mental Disorders

There is growing data that omega-3 fatty acids could be an important component when it comes to mental health. EPA and DHA, the two main types of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, are essential to the central nervous system. EPA maintains normal neuronal activity and DHA is key to keeping neuronal membranes healthy and functioning. Studies have found a connection between depression and low intake of omega-3s in the diet. Other analysis even shows that fish oil could be helpful for the treatment of borderline personality disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

How much omega-3 fish oil is safe?

The American Heart Association says taking up to 3 grams of fish oil daily in supplement form is considered to be safe. Don’t take more than that unless adviced by your doctor.

Are there side effects with omega-3 fish oil?

Side effects from omega-3 fish oil may include:

  • A fishy taste in your mouth
  • Fishy breath
  • Upset Stomach
  • Loose stools
  • Nausea
  • Taking more than 3 grams of fish oil daily might increase the chances of bleeding.

If you want to take higher doses of omega-3 fish oil supplements, consult your doctor first.

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