Fish oil is so beneficial because of the amount of omega-3 fatty acids it contains. This type of fats decreases the level of triglycerides and bad cholesterol, reduces anxiety and prevents Alzheimer. It also decreases the risk of breast cancer, prostate and colon. They can be an alternative to arthritis medicaments. However, if you are dealing with diabetes or have thin blood, you should avoid fish oil. Otherwise, consume it with antioxidants in 3 grams dose per day.
In the distant 1970s, scientists from Denmark studied the Inuit population in Greenland and discovered that even though they consumed a lot of marine fish fat and whale blubber, their level of triglycerids was very low, as well as low-density lipoproteins. The polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) found in fish fat had contributed to Inuit’s resistance to heart attack death. This was a turning point for fish oil consumption and made it “a must” in almost every diet.
Some Fats Are Good, Such As The Omega-3 Fats
These PUFAs contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosagezaenoic acid (DHA), which present two of the three very important fatty acids that the organism itself cannot produce and must get it from food sources. The third one is called alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) and this one is found in plants like nuts and seeds. The organism can turn some of the ALA into EPA and/or DHA but this is often not sufficient.
You Find Omega-3 In Fish And Fish Oil
It is logical that whole fish carries the most benefits. However, due to high pollution fish also contain a high level of mercury. Therefore the oil that derives from the tissues of cold-water oily fish like sardine, albacore tuna, salmon, late trout and mackerel, sold like pills or syrup is the best choice as source of these omega-3 fatty acids.
However, lately there have been some more studies that say that fish oil might not be a champion, after all – so let’s check the health benefits!
Benefits Of Fish Oil
For The Heart
Lowering triglycerides levels it’s the best attribute. In doses of four grams a day, ingredients of fish oil can reduce high triglyceride values and help directly and indirectly in preventing diseases of the coronary artery. However besides this, other roles in heart function improvement of the oil, still remain questionable. Healthy diet and exercise are the key factors.
Lower Cholesterol And Blood Pressure
One study conducted in ’93, made of 31 clinical trials discovered that every gram consumption of fish oil came with a certain range of drop in blood pressure values. The research emphasizes that patients affected with high blood pressure and cholesterol and atherosclerosis experienced the highest benefits.
For The Brain And The Nerves
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
A lack of PUFAs is connected to numerous psychiatric issues, including ADHD. This is mainly due to the fact that EPA helps the development of the brain as well at its functions by influencing the serotonin and dopamine.
It has been discovered that despite the help of fish oil in children and teenagers with ADHD, this is only moderate compared to the conventional medicaments today.
Make sure that unless you have a doctor’s advice, you do not replace the regular medications with fish oil, what you can do is supplement them with it.
Lower level of DHA in the blood can increase the risk of dementia and therefore – Alzheimer’s disease. This is due to the DHA ability to stimulate the creation of the LR11 protein that destroys the lesions caused by protein accumulation.
However, it has been recently discovered that fish oil mostly works for prevention of Alzheimer’s in people that do not have that gene mutation.
Fish consumption is of more help than just consuming omega-3 fats. Every 100 grams of fish eaten weakly, decreases the risk for 11%.
Anxiety And Depression
One research found that consuming a moderate amount of fish, reduced the risk of mental disorders by almost 1/3. Another study discovered that supplements like fish oil can reduce the symptoms of anxiety by 20% in healthy people.
Even if it is not just anxiety, even if you are dealing with major depression fish oil can still help, according to a study that found that PUFAs help the treatment of major depression.
However, this still does not make fish oil a substitute for antidepressants and similar drugs. Ask your doctor first if you want to take it as a supplement.
For The Bones And The Joints
People dealing with rheumatoid arthritis have some consolation in fish oil. A study from University of London and Harvard Medical School discovered that the organism converts one ingredient from fish oil in something called Resolvin D2 that helps in reduction of inflammation which is a cause for many diseases.
Another study found that consuming more than 3grams of PUFAs for a period of 3 months can decrease the need of intake of conventional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for joint tenderness or swelling, at the same time reducing the duration of morning stiffness.
One study shows that pmega-3 fats in fish oil can help in reduction of signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, and is recommended as a substitute especially for back pain and neck pain.
For The Eyes
Eye disorders and blindness can be dealt with fish oil, since they are caused by irregular growth of blood vessels in the eyes. A daily dose of 500 mg of fish oil can decrease the risk of eye disorders and damage by almost a half.
For The Immune System
DHA in fish oil stimulates the activity of B cells which are blood cells that secrete antibodies essential for the immunity.
For The Skin
Symptoms of eczema can also be reduced by consuming omega-3 fats. This decreases the levels of leukotriene B4 that is inflammatory chemical important in eczema cause. It has been proven that 10 grams of fish oil per day can be of significant importance for reduction of eczema symptoms.
For Fertility And Pregnancy
Omega-3 fats consumption during pregnancy ensures a healthy nervous system for the baby. It can also help with early delivery and labor, as well as reduction of the risk of pre-eclampsia that is cause by malfunctioning of the placenta. It can also help against appearance of post-natal depression.
Promotion of Weight Loss and Battling Obesity
Not enough studies for humans have been conducted in order to establish the fish oil true role in battling obesity.
Although it is still good to know that fish oil stimulates the death of fat cells and the level of adiponectin (a protein helping in glucose metabolism and breakdown of fatty acids).
Marine fish’s omega-3 fats can lower the enzyme production that can be a reason for cancer cells growth. It can also decrease the creation of new blood vessels that help the growth of the cancerous cells.
One study shows that PUFAs decreased the risk of breast cancer for 14% for a daily dose of only 0,1 grams.
Furthermore, PUFAs can make the malignant cells more sensitive to chemotherapy.
It is recommended to eat 3 oz. servings of various fatty fish for 2 times per week.
One study discovered that high level of PUFAs in the organism can result in better sensitivity to insulin. The same can be said for lower systolic blood pressure, levels of CRP protein that increases inflammation, especially in mid-aged men that were overweight.
However, if you have already developed diabetes you should consult a doctor before taking supplements of this kind.
In Combatting Aging
One research found that the increase of consumption of omega-3 fats can slow down the process of aging by lengthening the telomeres (the caps at the ends of DNA strands, that are shortened with aging) .
Menstrual Pain Reduction (Dysmenorrhea)
Abdominal cramps is a very frequent period symptom for teenage girls as well as women in their youth. Since omega-3 fats help in inflammation reduction – they help in reduction of menstrual pain. In fact, they have been showed to be more effective than Ibuprofen. However, if you take blood-thinning drugs, consult your doctor first.
How Much Omega-3 Do You Need?
Adults in Europe are suggested to consume 250-500 mg of omega-3 fats per day.
The American Heart Association advises heart patient to have maximum amount of 1 gram of EPA and DHA two times a week, at least and patients with high levels of triglycerides to consume 2-3 grams daily. For higher dose – you should consult a doctor.
The Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fat Ratio Is Crucial
It is very important to keep the right ration of omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats (found in vegetable oils). Most Western diets recommend 15:1 to 16:7:1 ratio, since omega-6 fats can have inflammatory function compared to the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.
Although some recent studies have discovered that fish oil consumption is not as good as previously thought, still the harmful effects are few, with the exception of diabetics and patients that consume blood-thinners.
Besides this, it is essential to consume fish oil, along with antioxidants since the extraction and refining process can make it oxidized and not safe for intake.