What is it?
Fish oil is derived from the fat or liver of several kinds of fish, and it is rich in very important Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. This nutrient is significant for the well-functioning of the human body. Around 30% of the supplement contains Omega-3, and the rest is usually rich in vitamin A and D.
Why do we need it?
Fish oil is extremely beneficial, and this is due to its Omega-3 fatty acid content. Tuna, mackerel, herring, anchovies, cod and salmon are rich in these necessary oils. Unfortunately, our body cannot produce a sufficient amount of its own Omega-3 fatty acids, which is why we must consider additional sources.
Benefits of taking fish oil supplements
Omega-3 fatty acids are responsible for the reduction of swelling and pain, as well as the prevention of dangerous blood clot formation. The FDA has even approved some fish-derived products as prescription medications to reduce triglyceride levels, and increase the levels of “good” cholesterol (High-Density Lipoprotein). Even in small doses, it helps lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Fish oil supplements contain less amount of fish oil than prescription products, so we cannot take them instead of the prescription products. In some cases, fish oil supplements are given to improve cardiac and mental health.
In some studies, it is suggested that Omega-3 deficiency may result in mental disorders because the brain is made up of nearly 60% fat. Therefore, fish oil supplements can help prevent such disorders. It may even lower symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolarism, and maybe even Alzheimer’s disease.
Some studies have also found that fish oil, along with exercise, can speed up the process of weight loss and help prevent obesity.
Fish oil may support eye health. One study mentions that consuming this supplement for almost 20 weeks improved the vision in all patients with age-related macular degeneration.
Regarding the cosmetology benefits, fish oil helps maintain skin youth and can help in preventing psoriasis and dermatitis. Fish oil supplements may also reduce liver fats and improve function.
Some researchers say it may even help with depression problems, and improves behavior in children with ADHD.
Taking fish oil, alone or with vitamin E or B12, can improve painful menstrual cramps, and reduce the need for pain medications. Taking this supplement orally, alone or together with Naproxen, seems to help improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Administration of fish oil by IV reduces tender and swollen joints in such patients, but this can only be given by a healthcare provider, such as a nurse.
Currently, studies are being performed to assess the beneficial effects of fish oil supplements on preventing osteoporosis. The WHO recommends eating at least a portion of fish per week, but for those who do not eat the minimum required servings, it is advised to take the supplement.
Who should take this supplement?
Generally, fish oil is safe for everyone to consume. But it is especially vital for people who are at a higher risk of developing heart problems, either due to family history or simply of old age and a bad diet. Fish oil supplements can help prevent coronary artery disease, cardiac illness and strokes.
Usually, the supplement comes in the form of a capsule. When choosing the supplement you wish to buy, read the label and make sure that it contains at least 500mg of EPA and DHA (Omega-3) per 1,000mg of fish oil.
It is important to remember, that fish oil overdose is possible, so it must be taken within limits. And in very rare cases, allergies may occur.