Fish Oil: Benefits and Side Effects
Fish oil is one of the most commonly consumed dietary supplements. It's rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Around 30% of fish oil is made up of omega-3s, while the remaining 70% is made up of other fats. Fish oil usually contains some amount of vitamin A and D.
It's important to note that the types of omega-3s found in fish oil have greater health benefits than the omega-3s found in some plant sources.
The main omega-3s in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), while the omega-3 in plant sources is mainly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Although ALA is an essential fatty acid, EPA and DHA have many more benefits which is very important for your health. If you don't eat a lot of oily fish, taking a fish oil supplement could help you get enough omega-3 fatty acids.
Benefits of Fish Oil
1. Heart HealthFish oil have important anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent or reduce the symptoms of several cardiovascular diseases. Studies have also shown that those who consume omega 3 fatty acids regularly have a better survival rate in case of a heart attack. One study that included the consumption of high dose fish oil capsules showed that individuals who had recently suffered a heart attack showed better overall heart health.
2. Mental HealthFish oil benefits mental health as essential fatty acids are vital for the proper functioning of the brain. It is also recommended for depression and anxiety.
3. Aids in Weight LossWith Fish oil, weight loss is also aided with improved metabolism and an accelerated fat burning process in the body. With limited consumption of omega-6 fatty acids, water retention is increased, making you feel puffy and uncomfortable. Although these foods are rich in fats, they contribute to the levels of essential fatty acids that can actually help you lose weight.
4. Good for Skin HealthThe uses of fish oil include skin nourishment, due to the presence of good fats. This helps the skin absorb fat soluble vitamins and maintain its elastic structure and stay younger for longer. Evidence also suggests that fish oil tablets benefit the skin by reducing the ageing process.
5. Reduces InflammationFish oil has strong anti-inflammatory effects and can help reduce symptoms of inflammatory diseases, especially rheumatoid arthritis.
6. Boosts ImmunityThe uses of fish oil include immune boosting. Salmon, which contains fish oil along with an antioxidant known as astaxanthin can be used to improve the function of the immune system quite significantly.
7. Reduces Liver FatLiver disease is common in obese individuals. Fish oil supplements may help reduce fat in your liver and symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
8. Reduces Symptoms of ADHDBehavioral disorders in children can interfere with learning and development. Fish oil supplements have been shown to help reduce hyperactivity, inattention, and other negative behaviors.
9. Eye HealthAge related eye disorders can be reversed by including fish oil in your diet.
Evidence shows that people who don't get enough omega-3s have a greater risk of eye diseases.
Who Should Avoid Fish Oil?
- Those with blood disorders
- Pregnant women
- Young children
- Those who are diabetic
- Those who are having allergies
Side Effects of Fish OilFish oil may have certain side effects that make it important for you to be cautious while consuming it. Some of the common side effects include:
- Loose stools
- Reduced ability of the body to clot blood
- Reduced immune response