Health Nutrition

Fish Oil Benefits for Health and How Much to Consume?

fish oil benefits

If you want natural dietary supplements for keeping yourself fit, fish oil is an amazing choice. There is a long list of fish oil benefits to help you maintain your health in numerous ways. Fish oil has as an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to multiple health benefits. If you are not much into oily fish dishes, consuming fish oil dietary supplements can help you get abundant omega-3.

What exactly do you understand by fish oil? Is it naturally present in fishes or artificially made out of fish fat? You can extract fish oil naturally from the fat tissues of fishes and consume it directly as fish products. Other options of having fish oil is in the form of capsules or tablets, and dietary supplements. Fish oil benefits are many in terms of keeping your heart, mental state, eye health extremely strong and fit.

You usually extract fish oil from species such as herring, salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines and anchovies. These fishes exist in cold water and contains lots of fat. There are two sites from where you can extract fish oil- fat tissues or liver. Extracting fish oil from liver is quite similar to the case of cod liver oil.

What are the features of fish oil?

In 100 grams of cod liver oil or fish oil, you will get 902 calories. The amount of saturated fat per 100 grams of fish oil is 21 grams. Monounsaturated fat in 100 gm of fish oil equals to 57 grams, and polyunsaturated fat being 16 grams. The percentage of cholesterol per 100 g of fish is 255, which is equivalent to 766 mg.

According to the World Health Organisation, you need to consume at least two portions of fish every week. The standard recommendation by WHO is mainly because of supplying adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids to the body. Omega-3 fatty acids offers various fish oil benefits, involving protection against multiple diseases and health complications.

If you cannot eat fish in two servings every week, you can any time switch to fish oil dietary supplements. Over-the-counter dietary supplements containing fish oil will offer you optimum omega-3 fatty acid content like any natural fish dish.

To dissect measurements of oil and other ingredients in fish, almost 30 percent of fish oil has omega-3 fatty acids. The rest 70 percent of fish oil is the fat content (including monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fats). Apart from saturated and unsaturated fats, you will also find traces of vitamin A and vitamin D.

There are omega-3 fatty acids in certain plant sources as well. However, the percentage of omega-3 present in fish oils are much higher than plants.

What is the composition of omega-3 fatty acids?

There are typically three forms of omega-3 fatty acids that exist naturally in fishes and plants-

  1. ALA or alpha linolenic acid- mostly present canola oils, flaxseeds, and soybeans.
  2. DHA or docosahexaenoic acid- in seafood and fish sources.
  3. EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid- fish oil and seafood.

Alpha linolenic acid comes under the category of essential fatty acids, which means your body do not normally produce it. In such cases, you need to supplement your body with ALA from food sources where it is present in plenty. Your body has the ability to convert ALA in eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid but in inadequate quantities.

Therefore, it is important that you consume enough fish or dietary supplements with fish oil for enough DHA and EPA. You need to make up the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your body to keep yourself in healthy condition.

Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely vital for maintaining structural and functional integrity of membranes, of every cell in your body. High levels of DHA is important for keeping your retina, sperm cells and brain cells in active and healthy conditions.

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You may easily get omega-3 supplements for blessing yourself fish oil benefits. Apart from fish oil, dietary supplements of omega-3 contains-

  • cod liver oil
  • krill oil
  • algal oil (from plant or algae sources)

How to benefit your heart health with fish oil?

One of the most crucial fish oil benefits or omega-3 fatty acids is improvement of your heart functioning. Heart disease is nothing less serious than life threatening diseases like cancer. There are scientific evidences that portray recuperation of heart health because of fish oil consumption.

Omega-3 has the potential to lower your risks of deadly heart diseases and malfunctions. You can evidently reduce your chances of facing cardiac disorders if you supplement your body with enough omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil benefits for heart health includes-

Cholesterol

Omega-3 fatty acids can effectively raise the levels of good cholesterol or HDL (high-density lipoprotein) in your body. There is a cumulative HDL count and simultaneous reduction in the LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels due to enough omega-3 content.

Triglycerides

Omega-3 has proved to bring down the concentration of triglycerides in your body by almost 15 to 30 percent. Therefore, fish oil benefits goes to the extent to improving hypertriglyceridemia conditions.

Blood pressure

If you are suffering from high blood pressure issues, fish oil serves as an excellent remedy for it. One of the essential fish oil benefits include relief from hypertension (elevated levels of blood pressure). Consuming omega-3 fatty acids can significantly bring down your blood pressure levels. You should go for fish oil supplements with high DHA content, as it serves better against hypertension than eicosapentaenoic acid.

Fatal arrhythmia

The term ‘arrhythmia’ stands for irregularity in the rhythm of heartbeat. If you have arrhythmia, your heart either beats too slow or too fast causing an irregular pattern.

One of the deadliest form of arrhythmia is ventricular fibrillation, wherein your ventricles trigger disorganized and erratic impulses. Such a condition may lead to sudden cardiac death or SCD. Fish oil dietary supplements or capsules can distinctively improve arrhythmia and reduce chances of cardiovascular disorders.

Plaque

Presence of plaques in arteries can cause hindrance in the transportation of oxygenated blood from your heart to various organs. Plaques are accumulation of fats, cholesterol and calcium, along with other components that build up in arteries. You increase the risk of plaque formation within arteries when your daily diet contains excess of saturated fat and cholesterol.

Omega-3 supplements can help in dissolve plaque buildup in arteries quite easily, and make the arterial functions more stable.

Can you improve mental health with fish oil?

Did you know that your brain contains 60 percent of the total fat present in your body? Moreover, the surprising fact is- a distinct part of this 60 percent fat in brain is actually omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, now you know why omega-3 fatty acids are so necessary for proper functioning of brain cells.

Certain studies reveal that if you are suffering from any mental disorders, you are most likely to have omega-3 deficits. Interestingly, you can improve your mental health or even prevent the onset of a mental disorder by consuming adequate omega-3. Sufficient amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your blood can drastically bring down risks of psychotic illnesses.

Supplement your meals with omega-3 capsules to avail fish oil benefits and fight signs of bipolar syndrome and schizophrenia. Studies show that a higher ratio of EPA: DHA can subsequently lessen symptoms of acute depression and anxiety.

Omega-3 has also proved to improve your memory and concentration levels, thereby proving a potential cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Do fish oil benefits include improved skin and eye health?

Adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to enhanced skin health and reduced chances of skin diseases. Your skin is a reflection of your glamour- so do not show negligence in taking of it. As you age, the radiance and texture of your skin will gradually deteriorate. If you keep yourself exposed to the sun for longer hours, your skin damages at a faster rate.

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Fish oil with a good combination of EPA and DHA can act as a shield against harmful UV rays. Therefore, fish oil effectively reduces sensitivity of your skin towards sun damage. Capsules of fish oil can improve your skin tone and maintain its softness even when you age. Omega-3 supplements can help you fight skin diseases such as psoriasis, acne lesions, and dermatitis.

Similar to brain functioning, your eyes also require sufficient amount of omega-3 fatty acids for proper functioning. Various evidences prove that you can lessen possibilities of eye diseases by including ample fish oil in your daily diet.

Along with aging, the health and performance of your eyes starts to go down. AMD or age-related muscular degeneration is a natural occurrence that affects all muscle functioning of your body, including eye muscles. By eating fatty fish, you can reduce your chances of coming across AMD. It is not however very clear that you can avail the same fish oil benefits against AMD with fish oil supplements.

How effective is fish oil against inflammation?

The occurrence of inflammation at a site of injury is the natural outright ability of your immune system. It is your body’s normal mechanism to fight infections and potential pathogenic attacks. However, if you are suffering from chronic inflammation then it is a serious concern.

Chronic inflammation can result in health complications like heart disorders, type 2 diabetes, depression and obesity. If you have a tool to lessen inflammation issues, you can probably deal with such illnesses. Fish oil has proven anti-inflammatory effects on your body, which can possibly treat conditions like chronic inflammation.

Obesity and stress are two intertwined effects. If you are under extreme stressful conditions, you are most likely to become obese. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can inhibit or lessen the formation of cytokines. How does omega-3 achieve it? Fish oil can potentially downregulate the expression of genes responsible for release of inflammatory substances like cytokines at molecular level.

Due to anti-inflammatory properties, fish oil benefits extend to reducing pain in joints, muscle stiffness, and conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Stomach problems like IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) is also a result of triggered inflammation. Fish oil can hypothetically relief bowel diseases like IBD as well, although there is no proven study.

How important is fish oil during pregnancy?

Fishes with omega-3 fatty acids and cod liver oil are crucial for development and growth in early stages of pregnancy. If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, omega-3 will benefit you in a number of ways. Fish oil will not only extend its range of benefits to you, but also to your unborn child.

Omega-3 can improve the health of your child’s eyes, and also contribute to the development of eyes and hand coordination. Feed fish oil to your child by including it in the daily diet chart. It will help in enriching visual functioning, as well as reduced allergic responses.

Children often suffer from a common condition of ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, involving concentration and hyperactivity issues. Since omega-3 fatty acids have a significant effect on neurons, it can prevent the onset of ADHD at the root.

You will mainly notice ADHD related problems in the early phases; therefore, it is easier to control the issue. Including fish oil in your child’s regular diet will better impulsiveness, aggression, inattention and hyperactivity issues. Fish oil can prevent development of negative behaviour and promote early stage learning.

What should be the dose of fish oil?

The dosage and ratios of docosahexaenoic acid and EPA will differ depending on your health status and age. According to the WHO, follow a standardized dose of 200 mg to 500 mg of pooled concentrations of EPA and DHA.

In case you are pregnant or suffering from any heart conditions, dosage will eventually be different from the standard one. You need the attention of a doctor to prescribe you the right dosage in case of such health emergencies. Usually you can opt for omega-3 supplement that contains 300 mg of DHA and EPA per portion. Choose a supplement with vitamin E to prevent it from rancidity.

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