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8 Benefits Of Taking Fish Oil

There are many health benefits to fish oil. This is largely due to the omega-3 fatty acids that it contains. In fact, The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish per week (preferably fatty fish). If you are not into eating fish, then fish oil supplements can be an excellent alternative.

What Are Fish Oil Supplements?

Fish oil supplements were created specifically with those in mind who do not like to eat fish. These dietary supplements typically contain a combination of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fish oil is usually derived from fatty fish or oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, anchovies, sardines, and albacore tuna. All of these fish are known to be high in omega-3 fatty acids.

It is important to read labels and always consult with your health care provider before taking supplements. Such supplements typically contain approximately 30% fish oil omega-3s. The other 70% could be made up of other fats such as flaxseed oil. Fish oil also usually contains some vitamin A and vitamin D, so it is good to take the time to select a supplement that contains the right component makeup for your body.

There are several health benefits to consuming omega-3 fish oil, but here are 8 that are particularly worth noting.

  • It May Lower The Risk Of Heart Disease & Stroke
    Research has shown that increasing your omega-3 fatty acid intake can lower some of the risk factors for heart attack and stroke. Beneficial effects include the ability to lower triglycerides which are considered a "bad fat" that leads to undesirable blood levels, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and other problems with cardiovascular health. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels which can also lower the risk of heart attack.
  • The Effects Of Fish Oil May Help With Weight Loss
    Similar to the way fish oil is beneficial for heart health, it may also help people with their weight loss efforts. Research shows that people who are overweight or have higher triglyceride levels see heightened effects from fish oil. This means that it could support tissue health and lead to better weight loss results.
  • It May Support Pregnancy & Child Development
    It is often recommended that pregnant women or women who are nursing ensure they are receiving enough omega-3 fatty acids since research has shown that they aid in early growth and development. Pregnant women should always consult their health care provider before adding supplements to their diet.
  • Omega-3 Supplements May Be Good For Eye Health
    A Harvard study showed that the DHAs found in omega-3 supplements may aid in vision protection. While it cannot reverse the effects of vision damage, it could help maintain your eye health and lower risk of macular degeneration as you age.
  • It May Support the Health Of Your Skin
    We all want healthy, glowing skin right? DHA is a structural component that is naturally found in the makeup of your skin. This component is responsible for cell membrane health. Including more DHA in your diet could help improve skin tone and texture.
  • It May Offer Reduced Risk Of Dementia And Alzheimers
    Another study conducted at Harvard Medical School showed that omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce levels of the protein beta-amyloid, which is a marker for dementia and Alzheimer's disease, in the brain.
  • It Could Improve Asthma Symptoms
    Asthma is a common inflammatory problem among both children and adults. Some studies have shown that the addition of more fatty fish in the diet to raise omega-3 intake could be a supportive therapy for asthma treatment.
  • It Could Have A Positive Effect On Mental Health
    Increasing omega-3 intake has shown promising results as a natural treatment for mood disorders. Studies have shown that when taken in conjunction with other treatments and therapies, fish oil could have positive effects on treating depression. Always consult your physician or mental health care professional before trying new treatments.

Side Effects Of Fish Oil

One caution that is made with any fish consumption is to be mindful of the mercury levels that you may be intaking. Certain fish such as marlin, shark, swordfish, and tilefish have been shown to contain higher mercury levels. However, while being mindful of the type of fish you may be consuming, the American Heart Association states that the benefits of fish oil for older adults outweigh the negatives.

When it comes to fish oil supplements, in particular, the risk for over-exposure to mercury is quite low due to the types of oily fish that are used in its creation, along with the way that it is processed.

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