12 Health Benefits Of Fish Oil
Fish oils are present in fish naturally and are extracted commercially from specific types of fish with high fat content. Anchovies, eels, sardines, horse mackerel, capelin and cod liver are some preferable fishes for oil extraction. Fish oils are renowned for two types of omega-3 fatty acids namely eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Fish oil supplements containing these PUFAs are available in the market as capsules that can be used to meet daily requirements as well. However, synthetic fish oil capsules also have occupied the fish oil market which does not contain triglyceride form of omega-3 fatty acids. So, it is important to consume fish oil to obtain its benefits.
1. Benefits For Skin
Fish Oils are known to repair damaged skin, decrease hyperpigmentation, improve hydration and reduce the signs of aging. Omega-3 fats present in fish oil increase collagen production which is the most abundant protein present in skin. The increased protein thereby makes the skin tighter reducing wrinkles.
Fish oils are also known to alleviate skin disorders such as skin cancer, skin infections, skin wounds and disorders related to melanin production. You can apply fish oil topically on your skin or take orally.
2. Promotes Healthy Hair
Fish oils are known to act efficiently on hair loss. The unsaturated fatty acid omega-3 is known to play a role in increasing hair density by enhancing the growth cycle, preventing infections related to hair, nourishing the dry scalp and increasing the thickness of hair shafts. Overall, the result is healthy, shiny and glossy hair.
You can use fish oil topically, incorporate it into your diet or take fish oil capsules as supplements.
3. Helps Brain Function
Omega-3 is an important fatty acid required for proper brain functioning throughout our lives. Brain cells that have a high amount of omega-3 in their membranes are known or better functioning. Increased blood flow in the brain, reduction in dementia and depression and protection from the oxidative stress of the brain cells leading to reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease are some of the major benefits related to the consumption of fish oil.
Oral administration of fish oil not exceeding 3,000 mg is recommended for brain benefits. However, consulting your doctor can provide you with maximum benefits.
4. Benefits For Men
Omega-3 fatty acids improve semen quality among men with infertility issues. The reported benefits include increased testosterone (including in obese men), greater sperm volume, high sperm count, higher sperm motility and increased testicular size. Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone associated with reproductive health.
The oral intake of fish oil supplements should not exceed 1,600 mg for men.
5. Supplements Reproductive Health
Fish oils are known to be beneficial to pregnant women, menopausal women and women of reproductive age. Omega-3 fatty acids have been used as a supplement for the prevention and treatment of maternal depression and to improve mental health conditions during pregnancy, to alleviate night sweats during the menopausal period, to regulate menstrual cycle and to provide ease on menstrual pain/dysmenorrhea due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
The recommended daily dose of fish oil supplement for women is 1100 mg.
6. Fish Oil Benefits For Kids
Fish oil aids brain growth and function, improves symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), improves a child's sleep, maintains normal vision, reduces allergies in children, helps in easy digestion thereby reducing the risk of diarrhea in infants, reduces respiratory sickness, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes in obese children and promotes bone health. The multitude benefits
The recommended dose for kids is not more than two ounces of fish per week in a week. However, oil supplements are suggested for kids only from six months of age. In the US, the national guideline recommends 500 mg per day of supplement for 0 to 12 months, 700 mg for 1 to 3 years, 900 mg for 4 to 8 years and less than 1100 mg for above 8 years.
7. Lowers Risk of Liver Diseases
Habitual consumption of fish oil is associated with a lower risk of primary liver cancer as it reduces hepatic production of inflammatory cytokines. Fish oil also acts on amelioration of alcoholic liver diseases such as fatty liver disease. Omega-3 fatty acids also have a powerful effect on promoting smooth liver function and preventing liver inflammation.
However, for reaping these benefits the serving size must be appropriate.
8. Reduces Risk of Heart Attack
The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids are associated with lower heart problems and a lesser risk of heart attacks and stroke. These acids reduce fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction, coronary heart diseases, sudden cardiac death and all-cause mortality.
Fish oil also has a role in increasing beneficial high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and reducing harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) thereby preventing the clogging up of cholesterol in blood vessels making the heart healthy.
9. Supports Weight Loss
Fish oils are known to decrease weight including a decrease in abdominal fat. Fish oil decreases appetite and on the other hand increases metabolism. The increased metabolic processes burn calories in your body faster which helps you to lose weight and stay fit. The capability to decrease triglyceride levels and accumulated fat is another potency of these oils.
The loss in body fat mass and increase in lean mass was reported in studies in participants who consumed supplemental fish oil for 6 weeks.
10. Prevents Risk of Cancer
Fish oil supplementation during or after cancer treatment has improved recovery rates. Fish oils may reduce gut cancer risk including colon cancer and liver cancer.
Omega-3 fatty acids modify inflammatory processes and reduce oxidative stress which leads to reduced cell proliferation. This prevents the risk of cancer. Vitamin D and selenium present in fish also protect against liver cancer.
11. Good For Mental Health
Intake of fish oil is associated with a reduced risk of depression. The severity of postpartum depression and manic depression (bipolar disorder) are also alleviated by these oils. Studies have suggested intake of omega-3 fatty acids to reduce depressive symptoms in patients with mild to moderate depression.
Apart from depression, omega-3 fatty acids are also known to prevent other psychiatric conditions such as epilepsy and schizophrenia and to stabilize mood.
12. Healthy Bones and Teeth
Higher omega-3 fatty acids are associated with higher bone density. In animal studies, these acids are shown to prevent bone loss in post-menopause, arthritis and aging cases. Overall, fish oil reduces fracture risk, decreases bone loss and being rich in vitamin D induces effective calcium absorption making bones stronger.
Fish oil consumption also lowers the risk of inflammation of gums drastically reducing the signs of periodontal diseases. This helps teeth to be securely rooted and prevents teeth infections that may occur due to damaged gums in the vicinity.
Fish Oil Benefits For Dogs
Not only for humans, fish oil is also beneficial for dogs. Fish oil works extensively well to promote good heart health in dogs, reduces allergies and relieves dry and fluffy skin. These beneficiary oils also reduce joint pains in dogs including arthritis. You can directly give the oil capsules or mix them in wet food. The recommended dose is 100mg/kg however starting with a low dose is recommended before graduating to large quantities.
Risks Of Fish Oil
Consuming high amounts of fish oil can deteriorate health conditions too. The side effects of using excess fish oil have been linked to several comorbidities such as nosebleeds, heartburn, insomnia and rashes.
To avoid these complications, it is necessary to take the recommended doses and as per prescription by a medical professional in the case of supplements.
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