There are lots of benefits of fish oil because it is packed with those magical little compounds known as omega-3 fatty acids. It isn’t for nothing that kids in decades past were made to swallow cod liver oil and adults have been popping capsules as a supplement for as long as capsules were invented. Even with the huge amount of knowledge now known about nutrition and health, the benefits of fish oil just keep being underlined.
1. Great for Your Heart
One of the biggest benefits of fish oil is that the omega-3 fatty acids are good for your cardiovascular health. Fish oil has the ability to reduce the levels of triglycerides, i.e. fats found in the blood. The hardening of the arteries due to the buildup of plaques and blood clots may lead to serious consequences, but fish oil not only treats this condition but also prevents it from happening. Some studies have also shown that fatty acids found in fish oil act as a protective shield against stroke – though clinical trials conducted at Seoul National University, South Korea, have also suggested that these fatty acids may offer no benefit to someone who has already suffered a stroke in the past.
2. Reduces Bad Cholesterol
The omega-3s are one of the main components of fish oil, so it proves beneficial in lowering cholesterol. With the regular consumption of fish oil, HDL levels, or "good cholesterol," improve through a reduction of triglyceride levels. You may try fish oil supplements or consider eating fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna or mackerel a couple of times a week. You know it’s good because the Mayo Clinic lists fish oil as one of the top 5 foods to reduce cholesterol.
3. Stronger Bones
Another of the benefits of fish oil is that it helps maintain a healthy bone mass. It has the ability to increase the amount of calcium your body absorbs, and at the same time, it lowers the amount of calcium lost in urine. This results in stronger bones, and is why many older people like to take cod liver oil supplements.
4. Menstrual Pain
The regular consumption of fish oil has been shown to relieve menstrual pain. A study conducted on 41 young women showed that those who used fish oil supplements for four months had less menstrual pain compared to those who didn't use it at all. Danish researchers performed a study on 78 women for four months and found the ones who used fish oil supplements with vitamin B12 had less painful menstrual cycles as compared to those who tried seal oil or a placebo for relief.
5. Arthritis Relief
One of the major benefits of fish oil is for elderly people who usually have weaker bones in the later stages of their lives. This is when a condition called rheumatoid arthritis becomes quite common – it is actually an autoimmune disease characterized by painful inflammation in the joints. A research conducted in the University of Maryland Medical Center has shown that the use of fish oil supplements may help relieve joint pain and ease morning stiffness as well. Other studies have shown that the use of fish oil with conventional RA therapies leads to better remission rates and helps a lot in yielding positive results.
6. Mental Health
The omega-3s found in fish oil promote healthy brain function, but the true effects of fish oil supplements on patients with different mental disorders are still not clear. It is therefore a good idea to consult with your doctor before you start taking a supplement. Still, it is possible to find some small studies and researches that show the positive effects of omega-3s found in fish oil on people with bipolar disorder, primary depression, and schizophrenia.
7. Control Diabetes
A research conducted by Harvard School of Public Health has suggested that the omega-3s of fish oil have the power to increase levels of adiponectin, which is a hormone that helps regulate the body’s glucose. With an increase in the levels of adiponectin, there will be fewer chances of you suffering from type-2 diabetes.
With the benefits of fish oil so well documented it makes sense that it’s something you should consider taking, either as fresh fish in your diet or as a supplement. Do you already take it?