Fish oil products are one of the most popular dietary supplements in the health and wellness space. It is a dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids, which your body needs for many functions, such as muscle activity and cell growth. Fish oil also carries powerful anti-inflammatory benefits.
Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally found in many foods like salmon, mackerel, trout, mussels, oysters, crabs, and more.
Fish oil consists of two omega-3s called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These omega-3s cannot be produced in the body.
You can find fish oil supplements in liquid, capsule, and pill form. If you don't like the taste, it's recommended to take fish oil as a capsule or pill.
Today, we're going to be going over the various different health benefits of this popular supplement. Are fish oil supplements truly good for you? Find out below!
There is some research that suggests that people who eat dietary sources of fish oil at least twice a week have a lower risk of dying of heart disease. Though fish oil supplements should not be solely relied on to support your heart, they can help.
High Blood Pressure
Fish oil supplements have been shown to reduce blood pressure in people who take them regularly. For those who suffer from high blood pressure, fish oil supplements could provide some relief.
However, it is believed that the benefits of fish oil might be more significant for people with moderate to severe high blood pressure than for those with mild blood pressure elevation.
High Triglycerides And Cholesterol
In addition, omega-3 fatty acids can significantly reduce blood triglyceride levels. There even seems to be a slight boost in high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good") cholesterol. It should be noted, though, that taking fish oil can lead to a slight increase in levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol.
If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, you could benefit greatly from taking fish oil. Studies show that fish oil supplements can help decrease pain, improve morning stiffness, and ease joint tenderness in people with this condition.
By no means will fish oil be as effective as traditional pain medications. However, unlike many pain medicines, there is no risk of dependence from taking fish oil. Relief is usually pretty subtle, but it could be enough to reduce the need for medications.
It has been reported that omega-3 may have protective effects on the brain and the nervous system in those with multiple sclerosis (MS). Yet, there has been at least one study to suggest that omega-3 supplements do not reduce disease activity with MS.
Consuming omega-3s consistently may also help prevent prostate cancer. The exact link between omega-3 and different types of cancer is still murky, so check with your health provider before making any changes to your diet.
For pregnant women, fish oil can actually brighten your mood. It has been shown that people with low levels of omega-3 during pregnancy and while breastfeeding may be more prone to postpartum depression.
Be careful, though; if you're pregnant, you should stay away from eating fish high in mercury, such as shark and king mackerel. Some healthier alternatives include canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish. To be totally safe, opt for fish oil supplements.
If you suffer from epilepsy, taking fish oil could help reduce the number of seizures you experience, as well as the severity of your seizures. Yet, there is still more research to be conducted before this is definitively proven.
Safety And Precautions
Omega-3 fatty acids are a necessary part of your diet. Even if you don't suffer from any of the aforementioned ailments, your overall health can still benefit from taking fish oil.
Try to get them from your diet by eating fish — broiled or baked, not fried. Fish oil supplements might be helpful if you have high triglycerides or rheumatoid arthritis.
Fish oil supplements generally contain little to almost no mercury, which makes it a much safer option to consume every day than regular fish.
Though fish oil is typically considered safe, you should be careful of taking too much. An excess of fish oil can raise your risk of bleeding and impact your immune response. Always speak with a health provider before starting any new supplement.
If you are allergic to seafood, fish oil supplements may not be safe for you. An adverse reaction to fish oil can lead to bad breath, heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, rash, bleeding, and stroke.
Interactions With Other Medications
You should also be wary of taking fish oil if you are currently on other medications, particularly anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs, herbs, and supplements.
These types of medications can provide important benefits. However, taking fish oil supplements alongside can lead to negative health effects.
Fish oil supplements might also have negative interactions with blood pressure medications. Though fish oil can be taken to lower blood pressure, it should not be taken concurrently with blood pressure medications.