What Are The Benefits of Omega 3 Fish Oil and Why Should You Consider Taking Quality Fish Oil Pills
This is going to be probably one of the most informative article about omega-3 fish oils and how do they help your body. If you are interested in learning about these fish oil benefits, please bear with me, because this is going to be a lot of information.
I also have to appologize to those who would feel that this article is too damn long, but there is so much research to this topic that I would do to my readers a huge disservice. If you are a woman, you should also read our article called: What Are The Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fish Oil for Women…
So without any further of due, let’s sit back and digest all you can…
What Is Fish Oil?
Fish oil comes from the tissues of oily fish. The best fish oil sources are cold-water, fatty fish. When it comes to human consumption of fish oil, you can get it from fish themselves or from a fish oil supplement.
Fish oil is a concentrated source of omega-3 fats, which are also called ω-3 fatty acids or n-3 fatty acids. To get more scientific, omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs.
Our bodies can make most of the fats we need, but that’s not true for omega-3 fatty acids. When it comes to these essential fats, we need to get them from omega-3 foods or supplements.
Fish oil contains two essential omega-3 PUFAs. I’m talking about docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA). DHA and EPA are sometimes called the marine omega-3s because they mainly come from fish.
Some of the best fish to eat to obtain fish oil from in your diet include wild-caught salmon, herring, tuna, hoki, whitefish, sardines and anchovies.
What does fish oil do for you?
You see we all need a diet rich in seafood (from all the various nutrients fish offers), but what about those who don’t like seafood nor have the money to buy quality seafood weekly? Fish oil supplements start looking like a great alternative.
The nutrient rich fats it’s mainly known for (such as Omega-3 and Omega-6) are widely available in capsules or pure oil depending on what you like (similar to black seed oil).
How much fish oil do I need?
The SIDE EFFECTS of Omega 3 deficiency on your health can be taxing. A majority of illnesses can be traced back to your lack of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
How much fish oil do you need depends on your diet and health.
For most people, fish oil is necessary in the diet throughout the week, but for others who enjoy seafood more often, then they need naturally goes down.
Without those fatty acids in your system, inflammation will happen which can result in chronic illnesses.
Too bad many doctors won’t tell you this and it is really up to you, a consumer, to start looking for better ways to improve your health and well-being! Also read our article: How Much Omega-3 Fish oil mg Do I Need to Take Every Day…
Omega-3 Deficiency Side Effects
Many peoples’ health problems can be traced back to having an imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Omega-6 fats aren’t necessarily bad for you, but if they’re consumed in large amounts without omega-3s, they cause inflammation, which leads to chronic illness.
Today, the average person has a 20:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, when a healthy ratio is more ideally around 2:1.
Put in other numerical terms, the typical American diet tends to contain 14 to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids.
This shows just how deficient most of us are and why supplementing with fish oil is so beneficial.
The biggest cause of omega-3 deficiency is the overconsumption of foods high in omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-6 comes from things like fried foods, fast foods and boxed foods that contain vegetable oils like soybean oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil and corn oil.
When you consume too much omega-6, it can decrease your body’s ability to metabolize healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Research has shown that having a lower ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of many common chronic diseases. Getting enough omega-3, which means having a proper balance of omega-3 and omega-6, has been shown in hundreds of studies to provide benefits to many inflammatory diseases, including possibly:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Heart disease
It’s also important to know that even though certain other foods like flaxseeds and grass-fed beef contain omega-3 fats, those omegas are ALA and not EPA/DHA like what’s found in fish oil.
According to the medical research, there are far more health benefits in fish oil (EPA/DHA) than flax oil (ALA) for most people.
It’s also important to note that omega-6 fatty acids aren’t bad for you. In fact, if your diet contains too many omega-3 fatty acids, your immune system wouldn’t work very well. It’s all about the balance of these two essential fatty acids.
How much omega 3 should you have a day?
Overall, most organizations recommend a minimum of 250-500 mg combined EPA and DHA daily for healthy adults.
However, higher amounts are often recommended for certain health conditions. Bottom Line in perspective there is no official recommended daily allowance of omega-3s.
Fish Oil Benefits – The Top 15 Omega-3 DHA/EPA Fish Oil Benefits for Healthy Body
Many members of the medical community, like myself, believe that suboptimal levels of omega-3 fatty acids may contribute to symptoms of ADHD and related developmental problems as well as many other mental health problems over one’s lifetime.
A 2012 study involved children from 6 to 12 years of age with ADHD who were being treated with methylphenidate and standard behavior therapy for more than six months. The parents of these children reported no improvement in behavior and academic learning using these standard treatments.
The researchers randomly gave some of the children an omega-3 and omega-6 supplement or a placebo.
They found “statistically significant improvement” for the Omega group in the following categories: restlessness, aggressiveness, completing work and academic performance.
Another study found that increasing omega-3 intake, specifically DHA, may improve literacy and behavior in children with ADHD. Fish oil is believed to work via its effects on brain function, which makes sense when you consider that 60 percent of the brain is composed of fats.
2. Alzheimer’s Disease
For several years now, the fish oil and Alzheimer’s disease connection has been studied with consistent results. The essential fatty acids vital for brain function that are found in fish oil can not only slow cognitive decline but can help prevent brain atrophy in older adults.
A study published in the FASEB Journal looked at the health effects of four- to 17-month supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
The findings once again confirm the potential for fish oil to be used as a weapon to fend off the onset of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
Another study conducted by researchers at Rhode Island Hospital examined the relationship between fish oil supplementation and indicators of cognitive decline.
The subjects of the study were older adults: 229 cognitively normal individuals, 397 patients with mild cognitive impairment and 193 patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
They were assessed with neuropsychological tests and brain magnetic resonance imaging every six months while taking fish oil supplements.
The study found that the adults taking fish oil (who had not yet developed Alzheimer’s and did not have genetic risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s known as APOE ε4) experienced significantly less cognitive decline and brain shrinkage than adults not taking fish oil.
3. Bone Health Support
As you grow older, especially in the case of women who are entering the menopausal years and who no longer have the standard estrogen and progesterone hormone levels, the bones may begin to thin, which then sets you up to experience osteoporosis.
Studies have looked at the implications of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid intakes on the bone density and calcium balance in menopausal women, and have found that those who do take in higher levels of fatty acids may help support healthy bones.
The best way to support your overall bone health is to make sure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet regularly. After that’s been looked after, it would be a very smart move to start paying attention to your fish-oil consumption.
It’s important to make sure you’re getting a good ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, though.
Consuming too much omega-6 and too little omega-3 can actually put you at a higher risk for a lower bone-mineral density.
The European Journal of Neuroscience published a study in 2013 showing that fish oil reversed all anxiety-like and depression-like behavior changes induced in rats.
This is an interesting study because it stresses the importance of supplementing with fish oil at “critical periods of brain development.” (10) This is exactly why I recommend giving fish oil to our kids from early on to help them so that they won’t develop anxiety or depression later in life.
An 18-month study was published in 2014 that evaluated how borage seed oil — rich in GLA — and fish oil rich fared against each other in treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
It was discovered that all three groups (one taking fish oil, one taking borage oil and one taking a combination of the two) “exhibited significant reductions” in disease activity, and no therapy outperformed the others.
For all three, “meaningful clinical responses” were the same after nine months.
This is great news for both fish and borage oil when it comes to arthritis patients, but it’s critical to emphasize that the results were the same because taking too many supplements is simply a waste of money.
Another study also showed that omega-3 fish oil supplements worked just as well as NSAIDs in reducing arthritic pain and are a safer alternative to NSAIDs.
Scientific studies have found that fish oil can help to prevent and kill various cancers, including colon, prostate and breast. Not only has research proven that it makes conventional cancer drugs more effective, but it’s also an effective stand-alone therapy in natural cancer treatment.
A scientific review published in 2013 looked at omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and prostate cancer prevention.
Researchers concluded that there’s a great deal of evidence suggesting that omega-3s have antiproliferative effects – which means they inhibit cancer cell growth – in cancer cell lines, animal models and humans.
Also, the “direct effects on cancer cells” and indirect anti-inflammatory effects on the immune system fighting the cancer is likely contributing to the ability of omega-3 fatty acids to inhibit tumor growth.
A group out of India conducted a study published in Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology based on the premise that “fish oil rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids has been preferred to chemo sensitize tumor cells to anti-cancer drugs.”
The study found that using 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) to treat colorectal cancer along with fish oil increased the survival rate in carcinogen-treated animals.
Researchers also found that the fish oil ameliorated hematologic depression, along with gastrointestinal, hepatic and renal toxicity caused by the 5-FU.
A scientific review in 2014 evaluated study findings on omega-3 intake in relation to the prevention and treatment of breast cancer, the most prevalent cancer among women. The study found that EPA and DHA, as well as ALA, can differentially inhibit breast tumor development.
According to this review, there is substantial evidence to support the use of omega-3s as “a nutritional intervention in the treatment of breast cancer to enhance conventional therapeutics, or potentially lowering effective doses.”
Additionally, a 2016 study found that “very high fish consumption in early adulthood to midlife may be associated with decreased risk of breast cancer.”
Fish oil also looks to be helpful for another type of cancer experienced by women: endometrial cancer. A scientific study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that “long chain omega-3 intake associated with reduced endometrial cancer risk only in normal-weight women.”
7. Cardiovascular Disease
According to the Cardiovascular Research Institute in Maastricht in Netherlands,
“Epidemiological studies show that replacing fat with carbohydrates may even be worse [than the Western-type high-fat diet] and that various polyunsaturated fatty acids (FA) have beneficial rather than detrimental effects on CVD (cardiovascular disease) outcome.”
This includes fish-oil fatty acids with anti-inflammatory properties, which can help prevent and reverse a plethora of cardiovascular diseases.
Studies have also found that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil are associated with improved survival rates for heart attack victims.
A study published in the medical journal Circulation found that people who took a high dose of fish oil each for six months following the occurrence of a heart attack actually improved their hearts’ overall functioning and also reduced biomarkers of systemic inflammation.
8. Healthy Cholesterol Level Support
Supplementing with fish oil may support a healthy blood cholesterol profile already within a normal range.
Adding 3-6 grams of fish oil a day can help promote healthy ratios of HDL to LDL, as well as healthy levels of triacylglycerol concentrations in the body when they are already in healthy range.
If you can start using fish oil, as well as eating a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, you will support overall health and well-being.
We’ve already seen that fish oil can help with depression-like symptoms in rats, but what about people?
A study published in the Journal Nutritional Neuroscience evaluated the effects of fish oil supplementation on prefrontal metabolite concentrations in adolescents with major depressive disorder.
Researchers found that there was a 40 percent decrease in major depressive disorder symptoms in addition to marked improvements in amino acid and nutrition content in the brain, specifically, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
A study published in Brain Research shows how far-reaching fish oil can be for people with diabetes. Researchers found that fish oil can help reduce the risk of people with diabetes from developing cognitive deficit because it protects the hippocampus cells from being destroyed.
The study also showed that fish oil could contribute to reducing oxidative stress, which plays a central role in the development of diabetes complications, both microvascular and cardiovascular.
Another recent study shows that fatty fish consumption can cut the risk of eye-diabetes complications.
The researchers tracked the seafood consumption of about 3,600 diabetic men and women between the ages of 55 and 80 for nearly five years.
The researchers found that people who regularly consumed 500 milligrams each day of omega-3 fatty acid in their diets (equal to two servings of fatty fish per week) were 48 percent less likely to develop diabetic retinopathy than those who consumed less.
Combined, this shows consuming fish oil benefits diabetics, and that fish oil sources should be included as part of a diabetic diet plan.
11. Eye Disorders
There’s more good news when it comes to fish oil and eye health, and it’s just not just for diabetic this time. Fish oil has been shown to reverse age-related eye disorders.
In March 2014, French researchers evaluated 290 patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and they discovered that dietary oil fish and seafood intake were significantly lower in AMD patients.
Due to the high EPA and DHA levels in fish oil, it was concluded that this kind of nutritional intervention could especially benefit those at high risk for neovascular age-related macular degeneration.
A higher intake of polyunsaturated fats like those found in fish and fish oils have also been linked to reduced levels of cortical cataracts.
12. Immune System Function
An animal study revealed that when the antioxidant astaxanthin is combined with fish oil, the immune-boosting power is multiplied.
The researchers believe that the results of this study are definitely applicable to human health. They conclude that the study reinforces the health-promoting effects of habitual fish consumption.
Salmon is a fish that naturally contains both fish oil and astaxanthin. I am also recommending buying a fish oil supplement that contains astaxanthin if possible.
13. Skin and Hair
The health benefits of fish oil can be incredible for the body’s largest organ, the skin. This source of essential fats improves the health and beauty of human skin in several ways.
Fish oil benefits and nourishes the skin with fats and contributes fat-soluble vitamins that help skin maintain a smooth, elastic texture.
There is also evidence that fish oil prevents wrinkles and works against the aging process.
The deficiency of EPA and DHA in diet contributes to skin conditions, such as
- thinning hair
- age spots
- sun spots.
Without the essential fatty acids, too much moisture leaves the skin. The truth is your internal health can appear on your skin, and taking fish oil internally as a supplement may be as good as or better than applying conventional moisturizers.
In one study, individuals taking fish oil equivalent to 1.8 grams of EPA had a significant reduction in symptoms of eczema after 12 weeks.
Researchers believe that these effects may be due to fish oil’s ability to reduce leukotriene B4, an inflammatory substance that plays a role in eczema. (26)
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, fish oil can aid in preventing or slowing heart disease, which is especially great for psoriasis and people living with psoriatic arthritis who are at a higher risk of developing heart disease. (27)
When it comes to using fish oil supplements for the alleviation of psoriasis symptoms, studies have been mixed with some showing improvement but others showing no effect.
If you suffer from psoriasis, you may want to try a fish oil supplement, or else I highly recommend that you make sure to have fish rich in omega-3s regularly.
One of the biggest reasons fish oil leads to healthier skin is definitely the fact that it can reduce inflammation.
Research has shown that fish oil supplements can even reduce sun-induced inflammation and provide sunburn relief.
“The sunburn response is markedly reduced by dietary fish oil rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.” (28)
14. Fertility and Pregnancy
Recent studies have shown that the consumption of fish oil (or, more specifically, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil) can improve fertility in both men and women.
DHA, which is a byproduct of omega-3 fatty acids, plays a crucial role in the mobility of sperm and health of sperm in men. Low blood levels of DHA have been linked to decreased fertility.
Animal studies have found that the DHA in fish is vital to changing dysfunctional round-headed sperm into strong swimmers with cone-shaped heads packed with egg-opening proteins. (29)
Fish oil has also been shown to increase fertility in women by reducing inflammation, balancing hormones and regulating their cycles.
Also, fish oil has been found effective in treating conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis, which can cause infertility.
Fish oil is also extremely beneficial for pregnant women and their children.
Throughout pregnancy and also while breastfeeding, a woman’s omega-3 needs are even higher than usual.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, most U.S. women are deficient in EPA and especially DHA going into pregnancy and get even more depleted during pregnancy, as the placenta supplies the fetus with DHA from the mother’s tissue.
Omega-3 DHA is a critical building block of the fetal brain, eyes and nervous system. Once the baby is born, omega-3s continue to be vital to healthy brain development and immune function.
Omega-3 fatty acids also seem to reduce the chance of premature delivery. EPA and DHA intake can help support healthy labor and delivery outcomes.
This omega-3 duo also helps normalize mood and overall well-being in the mother after giving birth. More on fish oil benefits for women here…
15. Weight Loss
Australian researchers published results of a study examining the effects of fish oil on weight loss in combination with diet and exercise in the May 2007 issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The results show that a combination of fish oil supplements and regular exercise can reduce body fat while also improving heart and metabolic health.
The fish supplementation group had lowered triglycerides, increased HDL cholesterol and improved blood flow.
Overall, adding fish oil to a current exercise program (and an overall healthy lifestyle) looks like it can decrease body fat as well as cardiovascular disease risk.
Another small study had all volunteers consume the same exact control diet and substituted fish oil for visible fats (things like butter and cream).
The volunteers consumed six grams of fish oil each day for three weeks. They found that body fat mass decreased with the intake of fish oil. The researchers conclude that dietary fish oil reduces body fat and stimulates the use of fatty acids for the production of energy in healthy adults.
Which foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids?
In case you do not believe in taking quality fish oil tablets and want to know about some alternatives, here is a list of foods that you should always have on hand. Try to add these to your regular eating habits.
The following foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids:
- Oily fish – anchovies, herring, sardines, salmon, trout, and mackerel
- Perilla oil
- Eggs (especially ones that have “high in omega-3” written on the shell)
- Chia seeds
- Radish seeds, sprouted raw
- Fresh basil
- Leafy dark green vegetables, such as spinachDried tarragon
How can vegans make sure their omega-3 fatty acid intake is sufficient?
Without proper planning, vegans and vegetarians have a much higher risk of being omega-3 deficient than humans who eat animal-sourced proteins.
The risk of not consuming enough omega-3 fatty acids is higher for vegans than vegetarians.
Vegans may obtain their necessary omega-3 supplies by either taking supplements or adding plant-sourced omega-3 foods to their diet.
Several foods have omega oils added to them, such as margarine and spreads.
Flaxseed and rapeseed oils are very high in omega-3 fatty acids, while soybean and walnut oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids.
Individuals should remember not to cook these delicate high omega-3 oils at a high temperature.
How to take omega 3 fish oil supplements correctly?
When taking fish oils, one must consider their BMI and potency level of the fish oils. The main objective is to try and have a balanced approach to your intake of fish oil supplements.
For the majority of people, 1.000mg of fish oil daily is the most effective amount.
To improve overall health and vitality adding fish oil to your diet can be great. Heart, brain, skin, hair, are just a few elements that fish oils will help take care of.
Overall health consists of a healthy diet and exercising daily. Even walking around your neighborhood can have tremendous health effects to your life.
Conclusion – Is Taking Omega-3 Fish Oil Pills or Tablets Really Good For Your Health?
As you can see throughout this article fish oil supplements can have a variety of benefits for a variety illnesses and complications.
Indirectly fish oil can help in ways and issues that you haven’t thought of.
Its far-reaching benefits can support a good quality of life and help alleviate certain problems.
Most importantly fish oil will enhance your overall health and lifestyle. If you need to help to choose the best fish oil supplements on the market today, you can read our reviews of some of the top rated fish oil supplements.
If you want to save time, I recommend the molecularly distilled DHA fish oil capsules from New Zealand company Xtend-Life. Read here about what is molecularly distilled fish oil and why you really should care about buying pills that are purified like this.
Not only New Zealand is well-known for a clear waters, but Xtend-Life regularly tests their fish oil products by independent labs to make sure, there are no contaminants and the fish oil tablets contain only pure and highest quality of fish oil.