Fish oil is a simple, natural supplement that is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which produce a variety of benefits.
In recent years as clinical evidence has mounted regarding the benefits of fish oil demand has skyrocketed.
Today, fish oil is among the most popular supplements in the world and below our experts will take a close look at its much-lauded benefits.
20 Benefits Of Fish Oil
The benefits of fish oil have been confirmed time and time again through rigorous clinical studies. Here are 20 of the most important benefits of fish oil supplements.
1: Fish oil may help slow physical decline.
A study published in 2015 indicates that fish oil consumption can slow the decline in muscle mass associated with age (1). Omega-3 fatty acids promote the growth of muscle proteins. And that seems to be the case even in sedentary individuals. When coupled with a regimen of resistance training (weightlifting), the results are even more impressive.
2: Fish oil is good for your heart.
Regular consumption of fish oil (at least twice a week) can help reduce risk factors for heart disease and heart attack (2). It does this by lowering blood pressure, reducing triglyceride levels, and thinning the blood slightly. Of course, that last part about thinning the blood means that if you are already on blood thinners you should avoid taking fish oil until you talk to your doctor.
3: Fish oil can help preserve your eyesight.
There is compelling evidence that the DHA in fish oil can help prevent age-related vision loss (3). This should not really come as much of a surprise since DHA is the primary structural component of the human brain. That is, it’s the mortar that holds your brain tissue together.
4: Fish oil can help you recover faster from a strenuous workout.
Weight lifters know that to achieve muscle growth, you need to push the muscle to failure. Doing so damages the muscle tissue, which opens the door for new, larger muscle tissue to take its place. But lifting to failure can leave a person very sore the next day. Omega-3 fatty acids help repair and rebuild muscles quicker, thereby reducing the intensity of soreness and its duration.
5: Fish oil is good for your skin.
Research indicates that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may be an effective treatment for inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis (4). As we age, our skin begins to lose its integrity. There are many reasons for that, including loss of collagen, chronic dehydration, and UV light. This breakdown of skin integrity can open the door to chronic skin conditions. Fish oil may help prevent that from happening.
6: Fish oil may help prevent some types of cancer.
We need to state right up front that no one is claiming fish oil is a cure for cancer. That said, there is some evidence that fish oil consumption may help reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, particularly colorectal cancer (5). Not only that, but they may have a role to play in mitigating complications often associated with cancer (6).
7: Fish oil is good for your brain.
We mentioned above that DHA is literally the glue that holds your brain tissue together. Therefore, it only makes sense that the DHA in fish oil would have beneficial effects on your mind. While fish oil won’t turn you into a Rhodes Scholar, it can help you optimize your potential brain power, and perhaps fend off some of the more debilitating effects of age on the brain.
8: Fish oil may play a role in fending off Alzheimer’s.
As we are seeing, DHA plays a central role in the development, maintenance, and daily health of the brain. And while the prospect of being able to optimize your brain’s potential is exciting, perhaps the most important role of DHA is in preventing degenerative brain conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease (7). To be clear, fish oil is not a cure for Alzheimer’s, but it may help prevent it from developing.
9: Fish oil may be useful in treating some psychiatric disorders.
The more researchers learn about both DHA and the brain, the more they are discovering how one can help the other. DHA makes up nearly 1/3 of brain tissue and is absolutely essential to proper brain function. But it may also play an important role in treating and even preventing some psychiatric disorders (8).
10: Fish oil may help you lose weight.
Food is a comfort vehicle for most people, especially in trying times. If you are trying to lose weight, denying yourself the comfort of your favorite dinner or snacks is not easy. But there’s hope. Researchers have discovered that omega-3 fatty acids (like those found in fish oil) can produce a sense of satiety (9). This should reduce food cravings and make it easier to stick to your diet.
11: Fish oil may help reduce menstrual pain.
Menstrual pain is an unfortunate reality for millions of women. Many of those women spend a good portion of their lives trying to find ways to minimize menstrual pain. The good news is research indicates that fish oil supplementation may be an effective way to do so (10). In fact, it may be even more effective than common remedies such as NSAIDs.
12: Fish oil is good for your liver.
Your liver is vital to the processing of fat. If it is not able to do its job effectively, body fat increases and people are at risk for all manner of health problems. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can increase the effectiveness of the liver to process most types of fat (11). Bear in mind, however, that this is not the case when it comes to alcohol-induced fatty liver disease.
13: Fish oil may help reduce inflammation.
Inflammation is part of the body’s natural immune response. But when it becomes a chronic condition, it can wreak havoc with a person’s health and wellbeing. Arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and more are all sources of inflammation. Fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation (12) and reduce the pain, stiffness, and discomfort that it produces.
14: Fish oil may help treat depression.
Depression is one of the most common mental health problems in the US. It is estimated that more than 7% of Americans have at least one major depressive episode each year (13). Studies show that people who suffer from depression often have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood. Research also indicates that the EPA in fish oil can be helpful in treating depression (14).
15: Fish oil is good for your bones.
As we age, our bones begin to lose their integrity. Levels of calcium and vitamin D begin to wane, contributing to arthritis and osteoporosis. There is evidence to suggest that fish oil may help pick up the nutritional slack and enable bones to retain essential minerals longer (15). This, in turn, leads to higher bone density and less chance of broken bones.
16: Fish oil may be useful in fighting asthma.
It is too early to draw definitive conclusions, but a couple of small studies suggest that taking fish oil while pregnant may reduce incidents of childhood asthma. Again, there is not enough evidence to say for sure, but the early indications are promising.
17: Fish oil may be helpful in treating seizures.
Medical science has made enormous leaps and bounds in the treatment of epileptic seizures. But the sad fact is that, for about 1/3 of people with epilepsy, current medications do not work. Recently, however, a small study suggested that fish oil supplementation may reduce the frequency of seizures for people with drug-resistant epilepsy (16).
18: Fish oil may help people recover from strokes.
A study conducted on laboratory animals suggests that administering DHA, (like that found in fish oil), may help restore some mental function in the aftermath of a stroke (17). No large scale human studies have yet been conducted, but many doctors are convinced of the therapeutic value of DHA for stroke patients.
19: Fish oil may be useful in treating arthritis.
Arthritis is a degenerative disease that affects the joints. It is characterized by chronic inflammation that causes stiffness, pain, and in some cases, deformity of the joints. Fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce some of the most debilitating symptoms of arthritis, providing relief while simultaneously enhancing bone strength and joint integrity.
20: Fish oil may help prevent prostate cancer.
Fish oil’s relationship to the prostate is a hot topic in medical circles. That’s because, while there is evidence that fish oil may help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer, there is also evidence suggesting the opposite. So who to believe? One analysis of the conflicting information suggests fish oil benefits outweigh the risks (18).
From slowing physical decline to bolstering your heart and eyesight to enhancing cognitive health and reducing inflammation fish oil is one of the most beneficial natural supplements known to man. While adults of all ages can potentially benefit from fish oil older adults in particular should consider adding it to their regular dietary routine.