Fish oil is one of the most commonly consumed dietary supplements. In this Blog we have discussed about incredible Fish oil benefits and how to choose fish oil supplements
It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are very important for our health.
If you don’t eat fish, don’t worry. Various fish oil supplements are available to fulfill the needs of omega-3 fatty acids.
What is fish oil? And What are the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids?
Fish oil is the fat or oil that’s extracted from fish tissue.
It usually comes from oily fish such as herring, tuna, anchovies, and mackerel. However, It’s also sometimes produced from the livers of other fish, which is called cod liver oil.
How much fish should we eat?
A healthy, balanced diet should include at least 2 portions of fish a week, including 1 of oily fish. But most of us aren’t eating this much. A portion is around 140g.
Oily fish – such as salmon and sardines – is good for your heart healthy as they are particularly high in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
Also, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish keep us healthy and prevent many diseases of heart, eye, skin, liver and many such more
Here are some plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids:
- Chia seeds (Great source of ALA omega-3 fatty acids)
- Brussels sprouts (Half-cup of raw Brussels sprouts has 44 mg of ALA that makes approx 4 % of Daily recommended intake) ref
- Algal oil (Vegan sources of EPA & DHA) ref
- Hemp seed (30 grams of hemp seeds has 2600 mg of ALA) ref
- Walnuts (single ounce i.e 28 grams offers 2,570 mg that is an daily requirement of omega-3 fatty acids
- Flaxseed (10 grams of flaxseed contains 2,350 mg of ALA omega-3 fatty acids, which also surpasses the daily recommended amount) ref
- Perilla oil
Here, it is important to note that omega-3s found in fish oil are more beneficial for our health than the plant source/
Around 30% of fish oil is made up of omega-3s, while the remaining 70% is made up of other fats. It also contains some vitamin A and vitamin D
Here are some Fish oil benefits you need to know:
Fish oil benefits – Heart health:
Studies show that people who eat a lot of fish have much lower rates of heart disease.
Multiple risk factors for heart disease appear to be reduced by the consumption of fish or fish oil. It can increase levels of good cholesterol which is HDL and may also lower levels of bad cholesterol or LDL
It can lower triglycerides by 15–30%
It helps reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressure
It may prevent the plaques that can cause arteries to harden, as well as make arterial plaques more stable and safer in those who already have them.
Fish oil benefits – Eye health:
Like our brain, our eyes rely on omega-3 fats. Evidence shows that people who don’t get enough omega-3s have a greater risk of eye diseases
With age our eye health begins to decline. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that can blur your central vision. It happens when aging causes damage to the macula. It is the part of the eye that controls sharp, straight-ahead vision.
Studies show that eating fish rich in fish liver oil can reduce the risk of Age-related macular degeneration (AMD). However, it has also shown that fish oil supplements are less effective in this regard.
Fish oil May help treat certain mental health conditions:
Your brain is made up of nearly 60% fat, and much of this fat is omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, omega-3s are essential for typical brain function
Research suggests that omega-3s can prevent the onset or improve the symptoms of some mental health conditions and psychotic disorders
Fish oil supplements in high doses may reduce some symptoms of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
Fish oil may reduce inflammation:
Inflammation is necessary to fight infection and treat injuries.
However, chronic inflammation is associated with health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, depression, and heart disease
Fish oil is beneficial to treat many diseases for it’s anti-inflammatory property
It significantly reduces joint pain and joint stiffness in Rheumatoid arthritis.
Fish oil for Skin health:
Fish oil supplement is beneficial for skin health. Our skin get damaged by raging or too much sun exposure. Omega 3 fatty acid in fish oil helps to maintain a healthy skin. It is also beneficial for skin disorders like psoriasis and dermatitis
Fish oil May support pregnancy and early life:
Omega-3s are essential for early growth and development
Therefore, it’s important to get enough omega-3s during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Taking fish oil supplements during these times may improve fetal brain development. ref
It may also improve infant visual development and help reduce the risk of allergies
Reduce liver fat:
Obesity is a common problem nowadays. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with obesity in which fat accumulates in our liver.
Fish oil supplements can improve liver function and inflammation, which may help reduce symptoms of Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and the amount of fat in your liver
Fish oil for Depression:
We have previously discussed mental health. Fish oil supplements — especially those rich in EPA — may help improve symptoms of depression.
Neurodevelopmental conditions in children are associated with learning and development. Fish oil supplements have been shown to help reduce hyperactivity, inattention, and other related behaviors.
It is beneficial for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
However, more study will be needed to make a solid conclusion
Few studies show that fish oil is beneficial for asthmatic patients and it also reduces the risk of allergy. It is also important for our bone health.
Now the most important part is how to select the best fish oil supplement?
Which fish oil is the best?
Few things to consider while buying the omega-3 supplements
Dosage for fish oil:
According to the WHO guideline the daily recommended dose for adults is 1100-1600mg of omega-3 fatty acids. A higher dose is recommended in pregnancy and heart disease patients.
Form of fish oil:
Fish oil supplements come in a number of forms, including ethyl esters, triglycerides, reformed triglycerides, free fatty acids, and phospholipids.
Among them triglycerols have superior bioavailability and oxidative stability compared to ethyl esters.
There are many supplements that has only 300 mg of EPA & DHA per 1000 mg of fish oil.
It is important to choose a supplement that contains at least 500 mg of EPA and DHA per 1,000 mg of fish oil. So try to read the label carefully.
Purity of fish oil:
Try to choose a supplement that is third-party tested or has a seal of purity from the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED)
Omega-3 fatty acids go rancid easily as they are prone to oxidation.
To prevent this:
– Try choosing a supplement that has an antioxidant, such as vitamin E.
– Keep your supplements in the refrigerator, to protect from light
Refrain using a fish oil supplement that has a rancid smell or is out of date.
Sustainability of fish oil:
Pick a fish oil supplement that has a sustainability certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Environmental Defense Fund.
The of fish oil produced from anchovies and similar small fish is more sustainable than that from large fish.
Timing of fish oil:
Dietary fats helps in improving absorption of omega-3 fatty acids. Hence, it’s advisable to take your fish oil supplement with a meal that has fat.
Fish oil or fish oil supplements is very important for our health. So take adequate amount of fatty fish or fish oil supplements to fulfil the daily requirements of omega-3 fatty acid.
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