Benefits of Taking Fish Oil
Animal oils are lipids which are derived from animals. These oils are liquid at room temperature and are composed of triglycerides. Animal oils are extracted mainly from the rendered tissue fats from animals and consumed directly or indirectly as ingredients in food.
Fish oil is one of the most healthy types of animal oil. It is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the brain and the heart. If you don’t eat fish, then fish oil supplements can be a good alternative and is a commonly consumed dietary supplement.
Omega 3 fatty acids contribute to eye and brain development. They help prevent heart disease and a decline in brain function and also help fight inflammation. People who are at risk of these health conditions can benefit from taking fish oil as it contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids.
What is Fish Oil?
The oil or fat that is extracted from fish tissue is called fish oil. It normally comes from oily fish like mackerel, anchovies, tuna and herring and sometimes from the livers of other fish, such as cod liver oil.
Eating 1 to 2 portions of fish per week is recommended by WHO (World Health Organization) as it contains omega-3 fatty acids which provides numerous health benefits, including protection against a variety of diseases.
If you are unable to eat fish as per WHO’s recommendations, then fish oil supplements can help you get enough omega-3 fatty acids. In fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids are around 30% and the remaining 70% comprises other fats. Additionally, fish oil also contains some vitamins D and A.
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil have greater benefits in comparison to the ones found in some plant sources.
What are the Benefits of Taking Fish Oil?
There are plenty of benefits when you take fish oil, which is mentioned here:
Supports Heart Health
One of the leading causes of death worldwide is heart disease. People who eat a lot of fish have much lower rates of heart disease as per some studies. The consumption of fish or fish oil capsules reduces the multiple risk factors for heart disease. The various benefits for the heart are:
Better Cholesterol Levels
It can lower the levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol and increase the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol.
It can result in a reduction of triglycerides by 15-30%
Decreased Blood Pressure
It helps reduce blood pressure in people with elevated levels even in small doses.
It makes arterial plaques more safer and stable in those who already have them as well as prevents the plaques that can cause arteries to harden.
Helps Treat Certain Mental Health Conditions
A human brain is made up of around 60% fat, with much of it being omega-3 fatty acids. This means that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for typical brain function. Some studies have suggested that people with certain mental health conditions have lower omega-3 blood levels.
They also show that omega-3 fatty acids can improve the symptoms of some mental health conditions and also prevent their onset. For example, those who are at risk of psychotic disorders can expect a reduced chance of having it.
Supports Eye Health
Eyes also rely on omega-3 fatty acids just like your brain. Evidence shows that people who don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids have an increased risk of eye diseases.
Eye health starts to decline in old age, which can result in AMD (age-related macular degeneration). Eating fish is linked to a reduction in the risk of AMD,The consumption of fish oil in high doses for nineteen weeks improves vision in people with AMD as per a study.
Inflammation is your immune system’s way of treating injuries and fighting infections. Chronic inflammation is associated with health conditions such as heart disease, depression, diabetes and obesity. Stress or increased weight can also sometimes contribute to higher levels of inflammation. Symptoms of these diseases can be treated by reducing inflammation.
There are anti-inflammatory properties in fish oil which can help treat conditions involving chronic inflammation. People with rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain may require fewer medications after taking fish oil supplements.
Supports Healthy Skin
Skin contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids and is the largest organ in the body. There can be a decline in skin health throughout your life, especially after too much sun exposure or during old age. Fish oil supplements can be used for several skin disorders, including dermatitis and psoriasis.
Supports Pregnancy and Early Life
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for early development and growth, so it is important to get sufficient omega-3 fatty acids while breastfeeding and during pregnancy. Taking fish oil supplements during such times may improve the brain development of the foetus. It can also reduce the risk of allergies and improve the visual development of the infant.
Reduces Liver Fat
Most of the fat in your body is processed by your liver and it can play a role in weight gain. Liver disease is increasingly common nowadays, specifically NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease), in which fat accumulates in your liver. Fish oil supplements can improve inflammation and liver function, which can reduce the amount of fat in your liver and the symptoms of NAFLD.
Improves the Symptoms of Depression
The second-largest cause of illness by 2030 is expected to be depression. Some older studies indicate that people suffering from major depression appear to have lower blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Improves Hyperactivity and Attention Span in Children
Many neurodevelopmental conditions in children, like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), involve inattention and hyperactivity. Considering omega-3 fatty acids make up a significant proportion of the brain, getting sufficient amounts of these acids are important for preventing these conditions in early life.
Fish oil supplements may improve aggression in children, impulsiveness, inattention and hyperactivity and this may benefit early life learning.
Helps Prevent Symptoms of Mental Decline
Your risk of Alzheimer’s disease increases and your brain function slows down as you age. People who eat more fish or take fish oil supplements usually tend to experience a slower decline in brain function and an improved memory in old age.
Improves Allergy Risk and Asthma Symptoms
Asthma, which can cause shortness of breath and swelling in the lungs, is becoming very common in infants. Numerous studies have shown that fish oil may decrease asthma symptoms, especially in early life. These supplements in pregnant people may reduce the risk of allergies in infants.
Improves Bone Health
Bones can become more likely to break and lose their essential minerals during old age, which can lead to conditions such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
Although vitamin D and calcium are very important for bone health, omega-3 fatty acids can also be beneficial. People with higher omega-3 fatty acid blood levels and intakes have better BMD (bone mineral density).
Also Read- Pregnancy Diet: What to Eat & What to Avoid
What are the Special Precautions and Warnings to Consider before Taking Fish Oil?
Breast-feeding and Pregnancy
Certain fish, like tilefish, king mackerel and swordfish should be avoided during pregnancy and while breast-feeding as they may contain high levels of mercury and other toxins. It is also unsafe to consume fatty fish in high amounts.
It is unsafe to consume fish oil in large amounts from dietary sources. Fatty fish should also be avoided as they contain toxins such as mercury.
Symptoms of this condition may increase by taking fish oil.
The risk of bleeding in people with liver scarring due to liver disease might increase with the intake of fish oil.
It may be more difficult to control blood sugar levels if you take high doses of fish oil.
Familial Adenomatous Polyposis
Fish oil might increase the risk of getting cancer in people with this condition.
People who have a weakened immune system, especially those who have HIV/AIDS, are at risk of lowering the body’s immune system response if they take fish oil in high doses.
Fish oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps the body in treating a range of issues. If your body lacks enough omega-3 fatty acids, then it is advisable to seek medical help from an experienced dietitian. Timely care and help can ensure the inclusion of fish oil supplements in your diet for better health.
At the CK Birla Hospital, we ensure patients get holistic medical support which includes treatment in a compassionate environment. This patient-centric approach not only helps patients heal better but also ensures they are aware of the preventive measures as well. In case you need to consult a dietitian, reach out to us, or book a direct appointment with Ms. Prachi Jain at the CK Birla Hospital.
Is it good to take fish oil every day?
Although there is no recommended daily dosage for fish oil, taking it every day may help you reach the daily recommended dosage of omega-3 fatty acids. It will help your body fight inflammation and is good for your heart, eyes and brain.
Does fish oil increase testosterone?
The intake of fish oil supplements raises the levels of free testosterone to LH (luteinizing hormone) ratio.
Get in touch with us
Get in touch with us