Fish Oil: Health Benefits & Uses
Fish oil is one of the most commonly consumed dietary supplements and derives from oily fish such as anchovies, herring, mackerel, and tuna. As you may know, fish oil is rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are difficult to obtain from diet alone. Therefore, taking fish oil can offer a unique set of health benefits that few other dietary supplements can offer. Here is a look at some of the many health benefits that come from consuming fish oil regularly.
Stronger heart health
Studies have shown that people who consume a lot of fish tend to exhibit lower rates of heart disease. This is because fish oil targets a number of risk factors for heart disease. Fish oil, for example, is known to increase levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides by 15–30%, and prevent plaque formation in the arteries. Fish oil may even reduce arrhythmia events in those who exhibit abnormal heart rhythms.
Studies of obese individuals have shown that fish oil may help balance out body composition and reduce symptoms of heart disease. In addition, some studies have shown that taking fish oil regularly, along with proper diet and exercise, can increase your chances of losing weight. Research is still ongoing, but overall, research seems to indicate that taking oil regularly can at least reduce waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio.
Stronger eye health
Because omega-3 fatty acids are essential for proper eye structure, not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can put you at greater risk for various eye diseases. Adding more omega-3s to your diet can help decrease your risk of eye disease, and perhaps even fight off age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Stronger mental health
Fish oil has also been linked to stronger mental health. This is likely due to the fact that the brain relies on omega-3 fatty acids to function, and individuals with certain mental health disorders tend to have lower omega-3 blood levels. Studies have shown the fish oil may reduce or prevent symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression.
Inflammation is your body’s way of fighting infection and treating injury, but sometimes people experience chronic inflammation—which is harmful especially for those with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Fortunately, fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties and can therefore treat symptoms of diseases that involve chronic inflammation.
Want better skin? Fish oil may just be the answer. Skin is naturally full of omega-3 fatty acids, and therefore omega-3 deficiency can lead to a variety of skin problems. Supplementing a diet with more omega-3 is proven to reduce symptoms of skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis. It could help give your healthier skin overall.
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