Omega-3 fatty acids perform many functions in our body and are needed for muscle activity and cell growth. As the body doesn’t make omega-3, you need to get them from food. There are two types of omega 3s in fish oil – EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). The dietary sources of EPA and DHA are fatty fish and shellfish. However, a convenient way of ensuring that you get EPA and DHA is through fish oil supplements. Research has shown that there are multiple benefits of taking fish oil supplements.
Below are five top reasons to take fish oil supplements:
1. Heart Health:
A 2016 study on heart attack survivors found that fish oil supplements improved heart function and decreased inflammation biomarkers. Fish oil pills have been associated with an improved survival rate of heart attack survivors. Fish oil improves heart health by reducing associated risk factors like high LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides.
A 2017 study examined the lipid profile of patients with high cholesterol. The patients took fish oil supplements or ate fish twice a week for eight weeks. At the end of eight weeks, there was a significant reduction in all the patients’ triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
Omega 3 in fish oil helps relax blood vessels and promotes easy blood flow. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 prevent swelling of arteries. The blood thinning property of omega-3 can prevent blood clots and blocked arteries. Thus, omega 3 in fish oil can lower blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure.
Fish oil supplements can reduce tenderness in joints, decrease stiffness, and result in less medication needed for arthritis symptoms. The omega-3s in fish oil are anti-inflammatory agents and can reduce pain. Studies have shown that fish oil worked like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to reduce arthritic pain. NSAIDs have many side effects that can cause complications like gastric ulcers, bleeding, and even death. Fish oil can be an effective and safer alternative when taken long-term to manage arthritis.
3. Mental health:
A 2017 study showed that omega 3 PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) are crucial for developing the central nervous system. The study suggested that dietary deficiency of omega-3 PUFAs may contribute to the development of mood disorders. Supplementation with omega-3 PUFAs may provide a new treatment option. Studies have shown that EPA from fish oil may have reduced symptoms of depression. As Omega-3 is an essential component of the neurotransmitter serotonin, it will improve mood and neutralise the brain’s neural activity. A substantial part of the brain is made up of omega-3 fats. So supplementing with omega-3s may improve focus, reduce hyperactivity, aggression, and impulsiveness in children. As you age, you are at risk for a decline in mental abilities. Studies have shown that eating fish slows cognitive decline, and fish oil can improve memory in older adults.
4. Eye Health:
Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil help improve eye health.
Dry eyes: Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can prevent dry eyes. The frontal surface of the eyes must be covered with an even layer of tears for maintaining good vision. The tears are a proper mixture of water and oil. If the tears are not of sufficient quantity or quality, it results in dry eyes. Symptoms of dry eyes can be itchy or burning sensations, blurry vision, mucus in the eyes, and excessive tears. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can improve the oil film and dry eye symptoms.
Advanced macular degeneration: DHA is a lipid component on the outer segment of the eyes where there are retinal photoreceptors. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 in fish oil can protect against advanced macular degeneration that can happen with age.
- Photo ageing: Studies show that fish oil prevents wrinkles by helping maintain smooth, elastic skin texture.
- Sunburn: Research shows that fish oil can help reduce inflammation from exposure to harsh sun rays and provide relief from sunburn.
- Ezcema: Studies have shown that high doses of fish oil reduced symptoms of eczema.
- Psoriasis: Studies have shown that fish oil can be a good remedy for treating psoriasis. Patients were given ten fish oil capsules per day for eight weeks. After eight weeks, the patients showed significant improvement with a significant reduction in itching and flaking.
- Dull skin: Pollution, malnutrition, dehydration, and stress can cause dull skin. Omega 3 in fish oil moisturises, nourishes, and revitalises dry skin.
- Acne: Research has shown that 1000 to 1500 mg of omega-3 fish oil per day reduced moderate to severe acne. As fish oil prevents and reduces inflammation, it works on hormonal acne.
Takeaways: Many health benefits make it worthwhile to supplement with omega-3 fish oil supplements. If you can’t cook fish regularly or are on a vegetarian diet, consider supplementing fish oil.