Fish oil is one of the most usually consumed dietary supplements. It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are very important for your health. If you don’t eat lots of oily fish, taking a fish oil supplement could help you find enough omega-3 fatty acids. Here are 13 Benefits of Taking Fish Oil.
- What Is Fish Oil?
- 1.May Support Heart Health
- 2.May Help Treat Certain Mental Disorders
- 3.May Aid Weight Loss
- 4.May Support Eye Health
- 5.May Reduce Inflammation
- 6.May Support Healthy Skin
- 7.May Support Pregnancy and Early Life
- 8.May Reduce Liver Fat
- 9.May Improve Symptoms of Depression
- 10.May Improve Attention and Hyperactivity in Children
- 11.May Help Prevent Symptoms of Mental Decline
- 12.May Improve Asthma Symptoms and Allergy Risk
- 13.May Improve Bone Health
- How to Supplement
- The Bottom Line
What Is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is the fat or oil that’s extorted from fish tissue.
It typically comes from oily fish, such as herring, tuna, anchovies, and mackerel. Still it’s sometimes produced from the livers of other fish, as is the case with cod liver oil.
The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests eating 1–2 portions of fish per week. This is because of the omega-3 fatty acids in fish supply many health benefits, including protection against several sicknesses.
Though, if you don’t eat 1–2 servings of fish per week, fish oil supplements can help you find enough omega-3s.
Around 30% of fish oil is made up of omega-3s, as the remaining 70% is made up of other fats. What’s more, fish oil typically contains some vitamin A and D.
It’s vital to note that the types of omega-3s found in fish oil have greater health advantages than the omega-3s found in some plant sources.
The major omega-3s in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), as the omega-3 in plant sources is mainly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
It’s also important to find enough omega-3s because the Western diet has replaced lots of omega-3s with other fats like omega-6s. This distorted ratio of fatty acids may contribute to many diseases.
1.May Support Heart Health
Heart disease is the leading reason for death worldwide (7Trusted Source).
Multiple danger factors for heart disease appear to be reduced by the use of fish or fish oil. The benefits of taking fish oil for heart health include:
- Cholesterol levels: It can raise levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. though, it does not appear to reduce levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).
- Triglycerides: It cans lesser triglycerides by about 15–30% (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, and 18Trusted Source).
- Blood pressure: yet in small doses, it helps reduce blood pressure in individuals with elevated levels (19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).
- Plaque: It may stop the plaques that cause your arteries to harden, as well as make arterial plaques steadier and safer in those who previously have them (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source, and 24Trusted Source).
- Fatal arrhythmias: In people who are at risk, it may decrease fatal arrhythmia events. Arrhythmias are unusual heart rhythms that can affect heart attacks in certain cases (25Trusted Source).
though fish oil supplements can improve many of the risk factors for heart disease, there is no clear proof that it can prevent heart attacks or strokes (26Trusted Source).
SUMMARY: Fish oil supplements may decrease some of the risks associated with heart disease. Though, there is no clear evidence that it can avoid heart attacks or strokes.
2.May Help Treat Certain Mental Disorders
Entertainingly, research suggests that fish oil supplements can prevent the onset or develop the symptoms of some mental disorders. For example, it can decrease the chances of psychotic disorders in those who are at danger (32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).
additionally, supplementing with fish oil in high doses may decrease some symptoms of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (33Trusted Source, 34, 35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source, 38Trusted Source).
SUMMARY: Fish oil supplements may develop symptoms of certain psychiatric disorders. This cause may be a result of increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake.
3.May Aid Weight Loss
Obesity is definite as having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. Globally, about 39% of adults are overweight, as 13% are obese. The numbers are yet higher in high-income countries like the US (39Trusted Source).
One testing of 21 studies notes that fish oil supplements didn’t considerably reduce weight in obese individuals but did reduce waist perimeter and waist-to-hip ratio (49Trusted Source).
SUMMARY: Fish oil supplements may aid reduces waist circumference, as well as aid weight loss when combined with diet or exercise.
4.May Support Eye Health
Besides, eye health begins to decline in old age, which can lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Eating fish is related to a reduced risk of AMD, but the effects on fish oil supplements are less convincing (52Trusted Source, 53Trusted Source).
One research found that consuming a high dose of fish oil for 19 weeks improved vision in all AMD patients. Though, this was a very small study (54).
Two larger studies examined the combined cause of omega-3s and other nutrients on AMD. One study showed a positive result, while the other exhibited no effect. So, the results are unclear (55Trusted Source, 56Trusted Source).
SUMMARY: Eating fish may help stop eye diseases. However, it’s unclear whether fish oil supplements have this same cause.
5.May Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is your protected system’s way of fighting infection and treating injuries.
Reducing inflammation can aid treat symptoms of these diseases.
Since fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties, it may help treat states involving chronic inflammation (60Trusted Source).
Furthermore, fish oil supplements can significantly reduce joint pain, stiffness, and medication requires people with rheumatoid arthritis, which affects painful joints (63Trusted Source, 64Trusted Source).
SUMMARY: Fish oil has sturdy anti-inflammatory effects and can help reduce symptoms of inflammatory diseases, particularly rheumatoid arthritis.
6.May Support Healthy Skin
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it includes a lot of omega-3 fatty acids (67Trusted Source).
Skin health can decline during your life, especially during old age or after too much sun exposure.
SUMMARY: Your skin can make damaged by aging or too much sun exposure. Benefits of taking fish oil supplements may aid maintain healthy skin.
7.May Support Pregnancy and Early Life
Omega-3s are vital for early growth and development (71Trusted Source).
So, mothers need to get enough omega-3s during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Fish oil supplements in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers may develop hand-eye coordination in infants. though, it’s unclear whether learning or IQ is improved (72Trusted Source, 73Trusted Source, 74Trusted Source, 75Trusted Source, 76Trusted Source).
SUMMARY: Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for an infant’s early growth and development. Fish oil supplements in mothers or Childs may improve hand-eye coordination, though their effect on learning and IQ is unclear.
8.May Reduce Liver Fat
Your liver methods most of the fat in your body and can play a job in weight gain.
Liver disease is increasingly common — mainly non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), in which fat accrues in your liver (79Trusted Source).
Benifits of taking fish oil are many like it can develop the liver functiom and inflammation, which may help decrease symptoms of NAFLD and the amount of fat in your liver (80Trusted Source, 81Trusted Source, 82Trusted Source, 83Trusted Source).
SUMMARY: Liver disease is common in obese persons. Fish oil supplements may aid reduce fat in your liver and symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
9.May Improve Symptoms of Depression
Depression is likely to become the second-largest cause of illness by 2030 (84Trusted Source).
SUMMARY: Fish oil supplements — particularly EPA-rich ones — may help develop symptoms of depression.
10.May Improve Attention and Hyperactivity in Children
Some behavioral disorders in children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), engage hyperactivity and inattention.
Given that omega-3s make up an important proportion of the brain, getting enough of them may be vital for preventing behavioral disorders in early life (92).
SUMMARY: Behavioral disorders in kids can interfere with learning and development. Fish oil supplements have been shown to aid reduces hyperactivity, inattention, and other negative behaviors.
11.May Help Prevent Symptoms of Mental Decline
Like you age, your brain function slows down, and your risk of Alzheimer’s disease raises.
SUMMARY: individuals who eat more fish have slower age-related mental decline. Though, it’s unclear if fish oil supplements can stop or improve mental decline in older adults.
12.May Improve Asthma Symptoms and Allergy Risk
Asthma, which can affect swelling in the lungs and shortness of breath, is becoming much more ordinary in infants.
In one review in almost 100,000 people, a mother’s fish or omega-3 intake was found to decrease the risk of asthma in children by 24–29% (108Trusted Source).
SUMMARY: A higher intake of fish and fish oil throughout pregnancy may decrease the risk of childhood asthma and allergies.
13.May Improve Bone Health
During old age, bones can start to lose their essential minerals, making them more likely to break. This can lead to situations like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Calcium and vitamin D are vital for bone health, but some studies recommend that omega-3 fatty acids can also be beneficial.
Some small studies recommend that fish oil supplements reduce markers of bone breakdown, which may stop bone disease (115Trusted Source).
SUMMARY: Higher omega-3 intake is linked with higher bone density, which could help stop the bone disease. However, it’s unclear whether benefits of taking fish oil supplements are helpful.
How to Supplement
If you do not eat 1–2 portions of oily fish per week, you may desire to consider the benefits of taking fish oil supplement.
If you want to buy fish oil supplements, there is a brilliant selection on Amazon.
Below is a list of things to believe when taking a fish oil supplement:
EPA and DHA dosage suggestions vary depending on your age and health.
WHO suggests a daily intake of 0.2–0.5 grams (200–500 mg) of combined EPA and DHA. Though it may be necessary to increase the dosage if you are pregnant, nursing, or at risk of heart illness (116Trusted Source).
Decide a fish oil supplement that provides at least 0.3 grams (300 mg) of EPA and DHA per serving.
Fish oil supplements arrive in some forms, including ethyl esters (EE), triglycerides (TG), reformed triglycerides (RTG), free fatty acids (FFA) and phospholipids (PL).
Your body doesn’t attract ethyl esters as well as others, so try to choose a fish oil supplement that arrives in one of the other listed forms (117Trusted Source).
Many supplements include up to 1,000 mg of fish oil per serving — but only 300 mg of EPA and DHA.
Read the label and decide a supplement that contains at least 500 mg of EPA and DHA per 1,000 mg of fish oil.
Some fish oil supplements don’t include what they say they do (118Trusted Source).
To avoid these products, select a supplement that is third-party tested or has a seal of clarity from the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED).
Omega-3 fatty acids are prone to oxidation, which creates them to go rancid.
To avoid this, you can select a supplement that contains an antioxidant, such as vitamin E. Besides, keep your supplements away from light — ideally in the refrigerator.
Don’t use a fish oil supplement that has a bad smell or is out of date.
Select a fish oil supplement that has a sustainability certification, for example from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Environmental Defense Fund.
The production of fish oil from anchovies and alike small fish is more sustainable than that from large fish.
Other dietary fats aid your absorption of omega-3 fatty acids (119Trusted Source).
So, it’s best to take your fish oil supplement with a meal that includes fat.
SUMMARY When reading fish oil labels, be sure to select a supplement with a high concentration of EPA and DHA and that has clarity and sustainability certifications.
The Bottom Line
Omega-3s supply to normal brain and eye development. They fight inflammation and may help stop heart disease and a decline in brain function.
As fish oil includes a lot of omega-3s, those at risk of these disorders can benefit from taking it.
Fish is as effective as fish oil — if not more so — at preventing many diseases.
That said, fish oil supplements are a good option if you don’t eat fish.