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Fish oil is one of the most frequently used dietary supplements loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids play a prominent role in keeping your heart strong and healthy. They also prevent serious heart conditions such as hypertension, clogged arteries, heart attack and heart failure.
You need omega-3 in your diet as your body can't make these on its own. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), you should eat 1-2 portions of oily fish per week to get the required amount of omega-3. However, if you don't eat that much fish in general, fish oil supplements are readily available to help you get the required omega-3 fatty acids.
As understood by its name, fish oil is the oil or fat taken from fish tissue. It is typically extracted from fishes containing oil, such as anchovies, tuna, herring, and mackerel. In addition, fish oil is also made from the livers of other fish, Cod liver oil, for instance.
Fish oil contains 30% omega-3 fatty acids, and the rest of 70% consists of other fats and oils. It also has vitamin A (good for eyes, immune system, skin and bones) and vitamin D (good for skin, teeth and bones).
Omega-3 is a group of important fatty acids that you need in your diet.
There are 3 main types of omega-3s called:
EPA and DHA are predominately found in fish oil, while ALA is mainly present in plant sources such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, soybean and walnuts.
It is worth noting that omega-3s found in fish oil have more health benefits than the omega-3s present in some plants.
There have been extensive studies conducted on Omega-3 fatty acids due to their role in preventing several serious diseases.
In fact, only a handful of nutrients have been studied as comprehensively as omega-3 fatty acids.
Let us briefly examine the significant health benefits of omega-3 fish oil.
Your eyes' retina needs DHA, one of the 3 major types of omega-3s, for structural development.
Not taking enough DHA can weaken the retina, resulting in poor vision and even blindness.
Moreover, omega-3 fatty acids may prevent macular degeneration, which has become one of the leading causes of permanent eye damage and blindness worldwide.
Heart problems, including hypertension, heart attack and cardiac failure, cause the highest number of deaths per year.
According to estimates, one person dies every 36 seconds due to heart disease, which makes about 17.9 million people a year, according to WHO.
Omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil tend to decrease the risk of heart-related problems and improve the heart's overall health and function. Fish oil helps your circulatory system by dealing with the following health issues:
After the COVID-19 pandemic, depression and anxiety skyrocketed among people. They are also the most prevalent mental disorders in the world.
Studies have found that people suffering from depression and anxiety showed improvement when they included omega-3 supplements in their diet.
EPA, one of the two fundamental omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil, seems to be the best at combating depression. According to a study, EPA happens to be as good as any standard anti-depressant medicine.
A metabolic syndrome is a collection of health abnormalities, including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and hormonal imbalance.
Metabolic disorders are one of the top health concerns of medical specialists because they give rise to a number of serious health problems.
Interestingly, omega-3 can significantly lower the risk of metabolic syndrome by reducing HDL and triglycerides in the body.
Your skin cells use DHA as a structural component. DHA plays a significant role in keeping your skin healthy and protected. It keeps your skin hydrated and reduces the chances of acne.
Additionally, fish oil contains vitamin A and D, which help prevent breakouts, boost healing, improve your skin's immunity and stimulate natural moisturising, thus providing your skin with a radiant glow.
Fish oil contains necessary vitamins and omega-3 fats useful against certain types of cancer.
Medical studies have proven that people who take a healthy amount of omega-3 fats lower their colon cancer risk by 55%.
These healthy fats also seem to reduce the chances of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. However, more research is required for its verification.
Fish oil is very beneficial for your bones and joints. The omega-3 fatty acids strengthen the bones by stimulating calcium absorption, preventing bone diseases like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
In fact, osteoarthritis patients experienced decreased joint pain and firmer grip after consuming omega-3 supplements.
Omega-3 fats are vital during pregnancy because they stimulate brain development in the infant.
DHA constitutes 60% of the polyunsaturated fats in your eye's retina and 40% in the brain. Thus, feeding your infant a DHA-fortified formula will help them develop better eye-sight and higher intelligence.
Women should take enough omega-3 fats during pregnancy as they provide many neurological and psychological benefits, including:
Your brain starts to lose neurons (brain cells) and shrink when you age. This causes a drop in brain activity, which gives rise to age-related mental conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Many studies indicate taking omega-3 supplements may delay the mental deterioration caused by ageing and help reduce the chances of Alzheimer's disease.
However, further investigation needs to be conducted on omega-3s and brain health.
Sleep deprivation and poor sleeping habits are a highway to health disorders.
A sleep-deprived body is prone to obesity, diabetes, hormonal imbalance, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and depression.
Studies found that children with low levels of omega-3 fats experienced difficulty sleeping, while adults lacking enough omega-3 fatty acids suffered from obstructive sleep apnea.
DHA plays a role in regulating a hormone called melatonin, which helps you sleep. Reduced levels of DHA affect melatonin, resulting in sleeping disorders.
Both children and adults experienced quality sleep for an extended amount of time when provided with omega-3 supplements.
Fish oil is one of the most frequently used omega-3 sources. Fish oil supplements are affordable and extremely effective in providing the necessary nutrients to your body.
Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for your health because they are one of your body's structural components. They not only determine your physical and mental well-being but are also involved in regulating your emotional, social, behavioural, and psychological health.
If you don't eat a portion of fatty fish twice a week, consider adding an omega-3 supplement to your diet.
However, it is better to ask your health expert before taking a supplement or making any significant change in your diet.