A huge amount of research indicates that, not only are the benefits of fish oil numerous, some of them are actually very extraordinary! It seems that new research is being written about everyday, as researchers and physicians learn even more about how and why it is so beneficial. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are “good fats” that are necessary for optimal health. They are crucial for human health but the body can’t make them — you must get them from your diet. Here are some proven fish oil benefits that should persuade you to consume more oily,
wild-caught fish and start taking a quality fish oil supplement if you’re not already!
Promotes Cardiovascular Health & Protects Against Heart Attacks and Stroke
Fish oil continues to increase in scientific credibility as a significant component to heart health. According to statements from the American Heart Association, fish oil is effective in lessening the incidence of heart disease and helps to reduce risk factors like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Clinical studies of heart attack survivors have found that daily fish oil supplements dramatically minimize the risk of dying, subsequent heart attacks and stroke. Omega-3s also lower blood triglycerides, help correct abnormal heart rhythms, and can help prevent and treat atherosclerosis by inhibiting the formation of plaque and blood clots, which often clog arteries.
Omega-3s have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
Lab studies suggest that diets high in omega-3s (and low in the inflammatory omega-6s) may benefit people with inflammation-based conditions — anything that ends in –itis!. Omega-3s have also been used to effectively treat neck, back and menstrual pain, helping study patients to reduce their consumption of NSAID medication.
Ensures Healthy Joints and Lessens Arthritis Symptoms
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil reduce joint tenderness, pain intensity and morning stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, many lab studies have found that omega-3s actually decrease the activity of enzymes that break down cartilage. At least 13 published clinical trials have shown that omega-3 fatty acids are highly effective at treating rheumatoid arthritis. Fish oil has helped people with RA to reduce their dependence on pain medicine.
Enhances Mental Acuity & Long-Term Cognitive Function
Are you aware that omega-3s, especially DHA, are highly prevalent in the brain? They’re important for optimum cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral functioning, as well as proper growth and development. Studies demonstrate that omega-3s may aid in achieving adequate cognitive functioning and possibly in preventing or delaying the emergence of Alzheimer’s disease. We also now know that it’s very important that pregnant women get enough DHA, which is essential to the developing fetus — during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, the fetus’ brain grows at a rate of 250,000 new neurons every 60 seconds! Kids are also helped by omega-3 consumption, as myriad studies show that omega-3s enhance learning, focus, vocabulary and reading skills. Countless studies have even shown benefits in treating ADHD.
Produces Happy Mood & Emotional Wellness
In nations where fish makes up a significant part of the diet, national rates of depression are lower. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that studies have discovered that fish oil supplements can alleviate the symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder and psychosis. Many studies have shown that people who took fish oil in addition to prescription anti-depressants had a larger improvement in symptoms than those that only took antidepressants, with patients experiencing a stabilizing effect and less mood swings. Research has also demonstrated that, when those in prison were given fish oil, there was a drastic drop in violent behavior. Omega-3s also seem to reduce the risk of postpartum depression.
Promotes Eye Wellness
Studies show that people with a greater omega-3 consumption seem to have a lower risk of Dry-Eye Syndrome and developing macular degeneration. Preliminary research also shows that omega-3 supplements aid in
lessening dry eye symptoms, may help to inhibit macular degeneration for those already developing it and improves eye health in general.
Pregnancy, Infancy Brain/Eye Development & Less Incidence of Childhood Disorders
DHA makes up 15-20% of our cerebral cortex and about 30-60% of the retina, so it is absolutely essential for normal development of the fetus and baby. Prenatal DHA availability also seems to lessen likelihood
of childhood allergies and have an effect on motor skill quality, cognitive development and hyperactivity/behavior later in the life of
the child. Omega-3s also assist in lowering the risk of premature birth and low birth weight.
Promotes Optimal Metabolism of Fat and Weight Loss
According to the National Institute of Health, omega-3s trigger “I’m full” signals to the brain and help quash hunger signals. Research has also demonstrated that fish oil improves the effectiveness of exercise in reducing weight. Volunteers who were alloted fish oil with their diet showed greater decreases in weight as compared to those who did not consume fish oil. Exercise along with fish oil had a positive effect on the body shape and body composition of the patients.
Lowers Chance of Breast, Prostate & Colorectal Cancers
Though additional research in this area is desperately needed, we now are aware that the omega 3’s that appear in fish oil help in the prevention and treatment of breast, prostate and ovarian cancers. Preliminary studies imply that consuming fish oil daily can help retard the progression of colon cancer in those with early stages of the disease and may possibly have the ability to cause apoptosis (cell death) in cancerous cells.
More can be said with regards to the many fish oil benefits. And, as the science community and health professionals continue to examine omega-3s, you can bet that fish oil will keep producing news as the ideal source of these essential fatty acids that are so essential to our bodies.
Even if you’re currently in great physical condition, a high quality fish oil supplement is the simplest, safest way to realize and maintain optimal health!
Brittany M. Wallace is a health and wellness authority, with particular expertise with Omega-3 Fish Oil.