5 Benefits Of Taking Fish Oil

5 Benefits Of Taking Fish Oil

Many people include fish oil in their daily supplement intake, as its high omega-3 fatty acid content is thought to have various health benefits. This is why the World Health Organisation suggests eating at least 1 to 2 portions of oily fish per week.

Oily fish includes anchovies, herring, mackerel, salmon and sardines. These are all rich in omega-3. However, if you’re not keen on fish, you can boost the amount of omega-3 fatty acids you consume by taking krill oil or fish oil as a daily supplement.

Here are some of the health benefits of taking fish oil or krill oil. 

1. It may help to reduce inflammation

When you have an infection or an injury, inflammation is your body’s way of fighting it. 

Serious health conditions such as depression [1], heart disease, diabetes [2] and obesity can result in chronic inflammation. Therefore, taking a supplement that has anti-inflammatory properties, such as fish oil, may help to treat the symptoms of these illnesses and other conditions associated with inflammation.

For example, people who suffer from stress and/or obesity [3] can have a higher presence of inflammatory molecules known as cytokines. Fish oil can help reduce the production of cytokines, which may help reduce inflammation in the body.

Furthermore, taking a fish oil supplement may also help reduce inflammation, stiffness and pain in the joints [4] and reduce the need for medication in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. [5]

2. It may help maintain healthy bones

As we get older, we can become more susceptible to developing illnesses such as arthritis and osteoporosis. This is because the bones start to lose their essential mineral content, making them more brittle and likely to break. 

We already know that consuming enough vitamin D and calcium is crucial to maintaining healthy bones, and some studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can also help.

One study revealed a correlation between a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids and better muscle and bone in older adults. [6]

Another study showed that taking a fish oil supplement reduced the urinary excretion of a chemical marker that signals bone breakdown, suggesting that fish oil may help prevent bone disease. [7]

3. It may help maintain healthy skin

The skin is the body’s largest organ and its health can decline with age or due to overexposure to the sun and harmful UV light. 

Evidence suggests that the symptoms of inflammatory skin disorders [8] such as dermatitis and psoriasis [9] improved when study participants took a fish oil supplement. 

So you may choose to take fish oil for good skin health.

4. It may reduce the risk of childhood allergies and asthma

With increasing levels of pollution across the globe, asthma has become increasingly common in young children

Some studies have shown that taking fish oil may reduce the symptoms of asthma in very young children.

One study concluded that fish or omega-3 consumption by mothers may be beneficial in helping to prevent asthma in children. [10]

Another concluded that taking omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy may reduce the risk of infants developing allergies. [11]

5. It may help with mental health problems

Much of the brain consists of fat (60%), including omega-3 fatty acids. So consuming a supplement containing omega-3 helps maintain normal brain function. [12]

Some studies have shown a link between certain mental health problems/illnesses and lower levels of omega-3 in the blood. For example, one study showed that increased inflammation in the body was resulting in a lower level of response to treatments for depression. Supplementing with an omega-3 fatty acid improved response to antidepressants in non-responders. [13]

High doses of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve the symptoms of schizophrenia [14] and bipolar disorder. [15]

Research also suggests that taking an omega-3 supplement can reduce the risk of progression to a mental disorder in people who are already at risk. [16]

Omega-3 may have an important role to play when it comes to treating depression, which is predicted to be among the three leading causes of illness by the year 2030, along with HIV/AIDS and heart disease.

Studies have already shown a link between lower levels of omega-3 in the blood and severe depression or anxiety disorders. [17] [18]

In addition, research suggests that eating more fish can lead to slower decline of brain function in older people [19], potentially reducing the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s. 

The results from one small study showed that supplementing with omega-3 improved cognitive performance, working memory and selective attention in middle-aged and elderly participants. [20]

There are such wide-ranging benefits to taking an omega-3 supplement, that you may like to take fish oil capsules, or krill oil capsules (a superior source of omega-3 fatty acids), as part of your daily supplements. 

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26711676/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2628602/

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21219177/

[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17335973/

[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7490601/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3884553/

[7] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3238146/

[8] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10617998/

[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2563604/

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3827145/

[11] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0091674903022711

[12] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25387473/

[13] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18640689/

[14] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/%28SICI%291099-1077%28199601%2911%3A1%3C39%3A%3AAID-HUP742%3E3.0.CO%3B2-%23

[15] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19156158/

[16] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18640689/

[17] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905735/

[18] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924977X03000324

[19] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17413117/

[20] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23173831/

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