Fish oil is a truly amazing pill that makes you beautiful inside and on the outside.
Omega 3 deficiency is the 6th biggest killer of Americans and more deadly than excess fat intake according to a recent study.
The study carried out by Harvard University researchers, jointly funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association of Schools of Public Health determined that there were 72,000 to 96,000 deaths every year due to omega -3 deficiencies compared to 63,000 to 97,000 high fat intakes.
This analysis goes to show that diet has a tremendously powerful impact on health and longevity and that the consumption of omega 3s along with fruits and veggies by Americans is far from adequate. Many people suffer from various health problems because of their choice of foods and unhealthy diet over a long-term.
Your body needs omega 3 for almost every function. When you are deficient in omega 3, diseases start to creep in. Getting enough omega-3 from fish oil just allows your body to go back to working normally.
What exactly are Omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega 3 fatty acids (also known as n-3 fatty acids) are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients for health. There are actually three types of fatty acids that are collectively referred to as omega-3: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
Besides being hard to pronounce, they are extremely important to your health. They are called “essential” fatty acids because they are necessary for health and must be included in your diet.
What exactly are they used for?
Omega 3 fatty acids lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and reduce inflammation, and they are also protective against heart disease. In addition to warding off inflammation, omega-3s are also essential to the brain, impacting cognitive and behavior function.
The 3 different types of omega-3 are found in specific foods, but fish or fish oil has been found to be the highest source of DHA and EPA.
As you are about to discover, the benefits of fish oil to human health are broad. It ranges from treatment of heart problems, arthritis, osteoporosis, mental health, cancer to mention a few.
Some of these benefits have been well documented and solidly proven by research, while others are still in the process of being mapped out by science.
Fish oil is oil derived from the tissues of oily fish. You can obtain omega-3 from eating fish or by taking fish supplements.
Fish that are especially rich in the beneficial oil known as omega-3 fatty acids include mackerel, tuna, salmon, sturgeon, mullet, bluefish, anchovy, sardines, herring, trout and menhaden.
Two of the most important fatty acids contained in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Oils from these fish have a profile of around seven times as much omega-3 oils as omega-6 oils.
Although fish is a dietary source of omega-3, they do not synthesize them; they obtain them from micro algae or plankton in their diet. There is about 1 gram of Omega-3 fatty acids in 3 ounces of fish.
Why you need fish oil?
- Beautiful skin, no problem
Regular intake of fish oil gives you flawless and healthy looking skin. Are you tired of creams and soaps that do not work? Try using fish oil. Fish oil has anti- inflammatory properties. It rejuvenates tired looking skin and prevents the early onset of wrinkles. Want a flawless skin like Valeria Lukyanova, the gorgeous real life Barbie. Use fish oil.
- Protects your heart
Fish oil is used for a wide range of conditions. But it is most popular for its treatment of conditions related to the heart and blood system. You can also use fish oil in reducing your blood pressure or triglyceride levels (fats related to cholesterol).
It promotes healthy heart beat and moderates the growth of atherosclerotic plaque.
Confused? Don’t be. Atherosclerosis is simply a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries.
Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances in the blood. Overtime plaque hardens and narrows your arteries. This limits the flow of blood into your organs and other parts of your body.
Atherosclerosis is the major cause of most heart diseases; and it can lead to heart attack, stroke, and even death. Using the recommended dosage of fish oil can help reduce your risk of developing atherosclerosis.
The American Heart Association recommends the consumption of 1000mg of fish oil daily, preferably by eating fish or fish oil supplement in order to have a healthy heart.
- Keep the blues away
Improve your mental health by taking recommended dosage of fish oil. Studies published in 2004 and 2009 have suggested that the n-3 EPA may reduce the risk of depression and suicide.
One study compared blood samples of 100 suicide-attempt patients and normal brain healthy individuals. It was discovered that levels of n-3 fatty acids were significantly lower in the patients who had attempted suicide.
Studies were conducted on prisoners in England where the inmates were fed seafood which contains omega-3 fatty acids. The higher consumption of these fatty acids corresponded with a drop in the assault rates.
Another Finnish study found that prisoners who were convicted of violence had lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids than prisoners convicted of nonviolent offences.
This suggests that omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil are responsible for the neuronal growth of the frontal cortex of the brain which is the seat of personal behavior.
A study from Orygen Research Centre in Melbourne suggests that omega-3 fatty acids could also help delay or prevent the onset of schizophrenia.
The researchers enlisted 81 high risk young people aged 13 to 24 who had previously suffered brief hallucinations or delusions and gave half of them capsules of fish oil while the other half received placebo.
A year later, only 3 percent of those on fish oil had developed schizophrenia compared to 28 percent from those on placebo.
So, brain performance and function is strongly influenced by the amount of omega-3 in your diet. Increased levels of omega-3 would enhance your memory, support your thinking speed, and increase your overall cognition.
- Gives your baby a fresh start
Did you know that taking Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids protect against fetal brain injury and promote fetal and infant brain health? Pregnant women are advised to take fish oil in recommended doses.
Some studies reported better psychomotor development at 30 months of age in infants whose mothers received fish oil supplements for the first four months of lactation.
In addition, 5-year-old children whose mothers received omega-3 fatty acids supplementation for the first 4 months of breastfeeding performed better on a test of sustained attention. This suggests that fish oil intake during early infancy confers long-term benefits on specific aspects of neurodevelopment.
Docosahexaenoic acid supplementation has been found to be essential for early visual development of the baby.
In addition, taking fish oil or fish oil supplements during pregnancy would reduce your baby’s sensitivity to common food allergies and reduce the prevalence of certain skin diseases in the first year of his life.
The effects are long-lasting; it may persist till adolescence with a reduction in prevalence and the severity of eczema, hay fever and asthma.
Not only is fish oil good for your baby, it is also beneficial to you; it has been shown to prevent pre-term labor and delivery. The American Heart Association however recommends that pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid eating fish with high potential for mercury contaminant including mackerel, shark, or swordfish.
- Fights back the risk of cancer
Studies have indicated that omega-3 can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer such as breast cancer and prostate cancer.
When it comes to prostate cancer, omega-3 may have an influence on slowing down the growth of tumors already developing.
In 2001, a study of over 600 Swedish men found that the folks eating the most fish had drastically lower rates of prostate cancer than those eating the least.
Another study from New Zealand found that men with the highest DHA markers slashed their prostate cancer risk by 38 percent compared with men with the lowest DHA levels.
Other studies tracking Japanese men in Japan and Brazil found that omega-3 levels in the blood were consistently linked with a reduction in prostate cancer.
Studies have also shown a correlation between a reduction in breast cancer risk and a high level of fish oil in women’s diet. In other words, while women who take omega-3 tend to have lower risk of breast cancer, woman with less omega-3 fatty acids possess a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Comfort your joints
Omega-3 is a powerful anti-inflammatory for your joints. It reduces joint discomfort, and morning stiffness. It definitely helps in reducing the amount of painkillers you need.
Taking fish oil would also enhance your walking pace and increase your grip strength. Fish oil taken alone or in combination with calcium and evening primrose oil seems to slow down bone loss rate and increase bone density at the femur (thigh bone) and spine in elderly people.
- Maintain your eyesight
As I mentioned above, omega-3 may be linked to eye development in babies, but there are also fabulous fish oil benefits for the adult.
A study found that an increase in fish consumption in people suffering from the eye condition called age related macular degeneration a very common condition in older people that can lead to serious sight problems led to a gradual decrease in the development of the disease.
So maintain healthy eyesight by taking fish oil. Fish oil is also used for preventing dry eyes and glaucoma.
If you suffer from arthritis, here’s good news for you. Fish oil is most beneficial to those suffering from autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and lupus.
Fish oil helps relieve the pain of inflammatory arthritis making use of the omega-3 fatty acids to produce a chemical known as Resolvin D2, which fights inflammation. Taking fish oil helps relieve your pain and symptoms overtime.
Although there is evidence that fish oil is helpful in treating some conditions, there is much more about the oil that is yet to be proven.
How much fish oil do you need?
It is very important you get the right fish oil dosage.
Note: 1000mg of omega-3 and 1000mg of fish oil are not the same thing.
If your bottle of fish oil reads 1000mg, that’s only the weight of the capsule not the omega-3 in it. Typically 1000mg of regular fish oil has just 300mg of omega-3; just enough to cover up omega-3 deficiency symptoms. To get the real benefits of fish oil, you’ll need 3 to 6 regular fish oil pills.
To avoid diseases, a minimum of 500mg of omega-3 per day is needed. For great health, a minimum of 1000mg omega-3, per day is needed. For omega-3 deficiency-related disease conditions, a minimum of 2000mg or more omega-3 per day.
American heart association fish oil dosage recommendation
1000mg of omega-3 for heart diseases
2000mg to 4000mg per day to lower triglycerides.
How pure is your fish oil source?
Although many types of fish are good sources of omega-3, there are downsides to eating particular types of fish. So, the benefits of fish oil you will experience are dependent on the source of the fish oil to a certain extent.
Bear in mind that fishes on the high level on the food chain are likely to contain a high concentration of toxic substances such as mercury.
Get the most out of your fish oil by getting fish oil whose source is relatively low in toxicity. A fish such as salmon is low in toxicity compared to tuna. Go for as pure a fish source as possible.
Anchovies, butterfish, catfish, clam, croaker, flounder, haddock hake, mackerel salmon, sardine, tilapia, scallop are some fishes that are relatively low in mercury. Get fish oil supplements that has been duly processed and cleansed of toxins.
Just like every other drug, it is important to take fish oil in recommended dosage, as an overdose can lead to side effects. Consult your physician for proper guidance on this.
I wish you a happy harvest of fish oil benefits.
- What Fish Oil Does for Your Health (everydayhealth.com)
- Good vs. Bad Fats: What’s the Difference? (epicahealth.com)
- Fish Oils – Turns Out Moms Were Right! (natesway.com)
- Omega-3 Overview (purevitamins.com.au)
- Top five fats for a healthy body and mind (talesfromthelou.wordpress.com)
- Krill Oil – New Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids (medindia.net)
- Jay Udani, MD – Should I Keep Taking Fish Oil Supplements? – September 17, 2013 (oneradionetwork.com)
- Krill Oil vs Fish Oil (purevitamins.com.au)