You might have heard about these incredible claims stating that fish oil is the new miraculous wonder supplement, but how true are they? Before taking any new supplement, it is important to know everything about it that you can.
This article is here to break down just what this oil is. It will give you an in detail look at what benefits it has been proven to have. If you’re looking for answers, you’ve come to the right place!
What is Fish Oil Exactly?
As you might have guessed, fish oil is the oil collected from oily fish. These commonly include:
- And anchovies
When compared to other types of fish like tuna or cod, these four contain up to seven times as many Omega-3 and Omega-6 oils within their tissues. Fish themselves do not naturally produce Omega-3 fatty acids. Instead, it is accumulated within their tissue from the consumption of certain algae or smaller fish who eat algae.
The ocean’s top predators like sharks and swordfish are also high in Omega-3, But the risk of mercury poisoning makes their oils unsafe for you to consume. As you may have noticed, you can find these pills at any supermarket or over the counter pharmacy.
What is it Used For?
Often coming in the form of liquid gel pills, this oil is sold as a dietary supplement. However, it can also be used as an ointment for softening and enriching the skin.
These gel pills are believed to have various benefits for your health ranging from improved memory to cancer-fighting properties. Their long chain Omega-3 fatty acids are considered highly beneficial by many and have even been shown to help with certain conditions in clinical studies.
Omega-3 is in no way harmful to you. It is still unclear as to exactly how good they are for your health or what health problems they can help with. Researchers agree that more testing needs to be done before making accurate conclusions.
The History of Using Fish Oil
People have been harvesting the oil produced by fish since the industrial revolution. However, chemicals produced from the factories contaminated several rivers and caused the production of ointments and pills to stop for a while.
In recent years, the ability to create a concentrated and refined version of this product along with newly speculated health benefits has caused its production to grow rapidly.
What Are the Benefits?
There is a lot of debate amongst medical professionals and organizations like the American Heart Association over the true benefits of using this oil. More research is needed to determine exactly how much the Omega-3s found in this oil can help with various aspects of health. There is plenty of evidence to support benefits in a few areas.
The American Heart Association previously recommended consuming 1 gram of fish oil daily to combat coronary artery disease. The US National Institutes of Health also stated that Omega-3 sources could help with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and high triglyceride levels.
Studies have been contradictory over these statements with some finding the supplement beneficial and others finding no aid in cardiovascular health at all. However, there is a still a chance that you and your heart might benefit greatly. Just from adding these fishy pills to your diet!
Omega-3 has been shown to prevent the blood from clotting, which might be why so many believe it is beneficial for these heart conditions.
Research on this benefit is still controversial and inconclusive, but one study showed a decreased risk of prostate cancer with higher levels of DPA in the bloodstream from Omega-3 fatty acids.
There have been other studies that show an increase in the aggressiveness of this cancer. Be sure to consult your doctor before deciding on adding this supplement to your diet.
Some consider the DHA found in Omega-3 to slightly reduce blood pressure, helping to relieve hypertension. However, they can also increase bleeding. Further discuss this possible benefit with your healthcare provider to determine if it could help you.
Several studies have been conducted on the effect Omega-3 has on depression. Any studies from 2008 to 2011 showed a possible benefit. But all agreed that larger randomized trials were needed to draw an accurate conclusion. That finally happened in 2014 where results showed that fish oil, in combination with therapy, was effective in treating and combating depression.
Many take fish oil for improved memory and better performance. Researchers just aren’t sure whether these are actual benefits that Omega-3 can deliver.
A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology concluded that Omega-3 had several beneficial effects for those suffering from psoriasis.
The EPA and DHA found in Omega-3 is also well known to reduce inflammation in the body. These oils are also beneficial in making your hair and skin healthy, giving them a beautiful glow.
Who is it Made For?
Fish oil is made for anyone who would like to add more Omega-3 fatty acids to their diet. Your body does not produce this substance naturally. Although you can get a healthy daily dose from eating the seafood that contains it.
There are so many theories on how adding this supplement to your diet can benefit your body. It may be worth your consideration to try it out. On the bright side, the refined daily doses found over the counter show no medical side effects when taken correctly. You may, however, experience a case of bad breath after ingesting one of the liquid gel pills.
If you are allergic to fish or any seafood, it is highly advised that you do not consume these oils. It should also be noted that taking concentrated Omega-3 in high doses, over 3 grams per day, can increase the chance of internal bleeding as well as decrease your body’s ability to fight off infections.
If you have recently had surgery or have any medical conditions, you’ll want to consult a doctor. Ask your doctor is fish oil or any other supplements are right for you.