Omega-3 Fish Oil Benefits: How Can It Help You?
Omega-3 is a type of fatty acid that is essential for the human body. You can find omega-3s most easily in oily fish like salmon, tuna, anchovies, and pollock. Many people turn to fish oil supplements to increase the amount of omega-3 in their bodies.
The most important omega-3 fatty acids for human health are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Although you don’t need to understand how they function, you should understand how they can support your heart, brain, and overall health.
Here are some of the best omega-3 fish oil benefits:
1. Healthy Heart
Studies show that people who eat fish tend to have healthier hearts1. This could be due to the omega-3 fish oil benefits. Fish oil has shown positive effects on cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and blood pressure levels. It helps keep arteries healthy, which supports healthy circulation and long-term heart health.
2. Healthy Brain
About 60% of your brain is made up of fat, some of which are omega-3 fatty acids2. Without enough omega-3, your brain can’t function the way it should. Some mental disorders have been linked with a lack of omega-3s. Omega-3s have been shown to support healthy brain function and a healthy mood.
3. Healthy Vision
Omega-3 fatty acids make up much of your eye’s structure. They help protect the eyes from oxidative damage that accumulates from environmental stresses, including UV exposure. Eating more fish has been shown to support healthy vision as you age. If you don’t get enough omega-3s, you may be increasing your risk of premature eye aging.
5. Healthy Joints
When your body has an injury, it triggers an inflammatory response. This is a normal part of the repair process. But sometimes, the body's inflammation response goes rogue and becomes chronic. This can happen with aging joints, causing discomfort and swelling and making movement more difficult. Fish oil can help support joint mobility and comfort by helping the body regulate its inflammation response.
6. Fetal Development
Omega-3s are crucial for a child's developing brain and eyes. Studies suggest that when pregnant and breastfeeding mothers supplement with omega-3 fish oil, their children may have better visual development.
7. Healthy Liver
In the US, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a problem. It occurs when fat builds up in your liver, and it can result in liver failure. When you take fish oil, you improve the way your liver functions. As a result, less fat builds up in your liver.
Are You Getting Your Omega-3 Fish Oil Benefits?
If you don’t eat a lot of fish, you might not be getting enough omega-3s. You may want to supplement with omega-3 fish oil so you can still enjoy all of the omega-3 fish oil benefits.
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3990713, The inverse relation between fish consumption and 20-year mortality from coronary heart disease, 1985 May 9;312(19):1205-9
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25387473, Polyunsaturated fatty acids and their metabolites in brain function and disease, 2014 Dec;15(12):771-85. doi: 10.1038/nrn3820. Epub 2014 Nov 12
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17490962, Combining fish-oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise improves body composition and cardiovascular disease risk factors, 2007 May;85(5):1267-74
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2563604, A low-fat diet supplemented with dietary fish oil (Max-EPA) results in improvement of psoriasis and in formation of leukotriene B5, 1989;69(1):23-8