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One of the most commonly used dietary supplements is fish oil. Fish oil is highly rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are vital for your health.
It is the fat/oil which is extracted from the tissue of fishes. For people who do not eat a lot of oily fish, taking fish oil supplements can help you compensate for it.
Omega-3 fatty acids are very good for your brain and eyes. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating at least up to servings of regular fish for its fatty acid content.
Fish oil supplement is a good alternative if you don’t have access to regular fish in the place you live, but not all fish oil supplements are the same they vary quite a bit on the basis of quality and the balance of the fatty acids.
Fish oils contain around 30% of omega-3 fatty acids and the remaining 70% is made up of other fats. Also, fish oil also has vitamins, A and D.
Omega-3s are also known to be found in plants but the difference is the omega-3 in plants are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) whereas the omega-3s in fish are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The omega-3s found in fish oils are much more beneficial to the human body than the omega-3s found in plants.
Fish Oil Supplements: Who Should Consume it?
Ideally, you should eat at least 1-2 servings of fish every week, but not everyone has access to regular fish in their place. Fish oil supplements are for people who do not eat 1-2 servings of regular fish every week. This includes everyone, from children to the aged.
For people who are taking anticoagulants like warfarin, high doses of fish oil can be perilous to your health, you may need to completely stop your fish oil intake depending on your situation.
Similarly, people who have a defibrillator implant to help them regulate their heartbeat should reduce their fish oil intake as it increases the risk of irregular heartbeats. Anyone who is due to undergo surgery should stop their intake of fish oil at least 2 weeks before the surgery and finally, anyone who is allergic to seafood and fishes should avoid fish oil altogether.
Benefits of Fish Oil
Improves the Health of the Heart
One of the leading causes of death around the world is the various kinds of heart diseases. Studies conducted over the years show that, people who consumed fish on a regular basis were less prone to heart diseases than compared to the people who didn’t.
Consumption of fish oil can lead to an increase in the good cholesterol (HDL) levels in your body and reduce the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and also reduce the level of triglycerides by 15%-30%. Fish oils also may prevent the plaques from hardening your arteries. Apart from all this, even when consumed in minimal doses it helps in reducing the blood pressure for people with high blood pressure.
Good For Your Skin
As we know DHA is one of the structural components of our skin which is responsible for the health of the cell membranes. It is also a well-known fact that DHA is found in fish oil.
Consumption of fish oil will help your skin become soft, wrinkle-free, and healthy. It is not only the DHL which is helpful for the skin, EPA helps in managing the hydration of your skin and also the oil production. Also, it reduces the risk of acne and premature aging of your skin.
Improvement of Eye Health
Omega-3 is very important for the health of your eyes, as it is one of the major structural components of the retina. Studies show that people with lower omega-3 content are more prone to eye diseases. DHA improves the visual function and EPA helps in reducing inflammation and as the health of the eyes begins to decline during old age, it can lead to Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and eating fish is linked to the reduction in the risk of AMD.
Promote Brain-Health during Pregnancy and Early life
As essential they are to a lot of other things, omega-3 are also extremely vital for early growth and development, 60% of the polyunsaturated fatty acids in your brain and 40% in your eyes is nothing but omega-3 and the result of it is clearly visible. As children who consume omega-3 on a regular basis have better eye-sight than the ones who don’t. It is important for mothers to get a sufficient amount of omega-3 during their pregnancy and also while breastfeeding. Consuming fish oil during pregnancy has shown to improve hand-eye coordination in growing children.
Reduction in Liver Fat
As everyone knows, the liver processes most of the fat in your body and it plays a major role in weight gain. In recent times non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases are increasing in number and the consumption of fish oil reduces liver fat and inflammation.
Can Reduce Asthma
A lot of studies have shown that the omega-3 found in the fish can help in reducing asthma, especially in children. Asthma attacks can be severe and dangerous as they are usually caused by inflammation and swelling in the lungs.
Can Strengthen Bones and Joints
Essential minerals in our bones are gradually lost when we begin to age, making them more brittle and likely to break. Conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis are not uncommon in the elderly and as we know calcium and is vital to bone health and studies over years have shown that omega-3 can boost the amount of calcium in your bones, thus, improving your bone health. Omega-3 is also used to treat arthritis.
May Protect Against Alzheimers and Dementia
DHA is one of the major components of the cellular membrane in the brain and is believed to improve the functions of the neurons while protecting the blood-brain barrier. High doses of DHA have been known to preserve brain volume. People who consume more fish on a regular basis tend to go through a slow decline in mental health during old age.
Side-Effects of Fish Oil
Following are a few of the side-effects of fish oil:
- Acid reflux
- Discomfort in the stomach
- Pungent breath
Best Fish Oil Supplements in the Game
Over the past decade, fish oil supplements have gained major popularity, especially among the health-conscious and for good reasons. There are a lot of brands that sell, but how do you know which one to buy?
You can check out the best fish oil of 2020 comparison by Health Trends to see which brands are the most reliable.
Here are a few of them:
- OmegaVia Pharmaceutical Grade Omega-3
- Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega
- Dr.Tobias Triple Strength Omega-3
- Bronson Omega-3 Fish Oil Triple Strength
- Arazo Nutrition Omega-3 Fish Oil
- Mav Nutrition Premium Omega-3 Fish Oil
With benefits such as fighting inflammation, preventing heart diseases, and contributing to the brain and eye health, Omega-3 is extremely vital to the human body. It is important to make sure we give our body sufficient amounts of omega-3. It is also important to remember that it is better to consume regular fish than fish supplements as nothing beats the natural source, but given certain circumstances where fish is not available or accessible, during those situations fish oil is a really good alternative.