Among the essential fatty acids that we need to live, omega-3s are very important. Your body cannot manufacture these fats on its own, so they need to come from food sources or supplements.
While there are plant sources of omega-3 like flaxseed oil, the kind that you get from fish and fish oil has some unique properties that are not present in plant sources.
The fish and fish oil are direct source of EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) and DHA (docosa-hexanoic acid), and both are very important for the heart health.
Fish Oil became popular in the prevention of heart disease because of the research done on some countries – where people eat fish daily have longer life expectancy. Men and women who include fish on their daily diet have lower risk of early death from all kinds of illnesses, particularly stroke and heart disease.
Food Rich in EPA and DHA: Cold water fish particularly Salmon, Herring, Anchovies, Sardines, Halibut, Mackerel and Tuna. These fishes are good sources of fish oil but it is not recommended to consume this daily because of the risk of possible mercury contamination.
How Much Fish Oil Supplement to Take? Fish oil capsules usually comes in 1,000mg doses, but this number refer to the weight of the oil, not to the actual amount of DHA and EPA they provide. Check the label to see how many capsules you should take to get the required dose of 500mg to 1,000mg of combined DHA and EPA.
Health Benefits of Fish Oil:
- Fish oil helps decrease inflammation, thin the blood and balance the immune system.
- Fish oil is important for proper brain function. It helps to improve the chemical balance in the brain.
- Fish oil is effective in reducing stiffness and pain. One study found that patient were able to go off their anti-inflammatory drugs while supplementing fish oil and experienced no relapse in their rheumatoid arthritis. People with arthritis need up to 3,000mg of combined EPA and DHA.
- Fish oil can prevent cancer and slow tumor growth.
- Fish oil can prevent heart disease because it reduces bad cholesterol and triglyceride level and also act as a natural blood thinner, which result in lowering blood pressure.
- Fish oil can prevent and slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. In a study patient in early stages who took fish oil supplement for 6 to 12 months has slower rate of cognitive decline.
- Fish oil is beneficial on inflammatory bowel disease. A study on patient with ulcerative colitis was able to cut their steroid medications in half.
- Fish oil is beneficial in case of Depression. It has been shown that people deficient in DHA are much more likely to suffer from depression.
- Fish oil can help treat Dry Eye Syndrome.
- Fish oil can help treat skin problems like psoriasis and dermatitis.
- Fish oil can help improve the body’s use of insulin. This insulin balancing effect is also beneficial in Diabetes.
- Fish oil can help prevent menstrual pain.
- Fish oil is beneficial in Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus.
Side Effects of Fish Oil:
- Digestive upset like burping – which can be a concern because of the “fishy smell”. To prevent that always take your fish oil supplement with meals.
- Fish oil have blood thinning property so if you are taking blood thinning medicine ask you doctor for approval before starting with fish oil supplement.
How to Buy Fish Oil Supplement:
- Some fish oil supplement brand contains rancid oil. To check just cut the end of the capsule, if the fish oil has gone rancid you can easily smell it. Always get the new bottle and check the expiry date to make sure you are getting a new product.