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Fish Oil

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Fish oil can keep your body working like a well-oiled machine. It is safe for people of all ages and can greatly benefit your overall health.

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The American Heart Association, or AHA, recommends eating fatty fish at least two times per week, or two servings. The AHA attests this is because fish is a good source of protein that’s not high in saturated fat. They also add that it’s a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

What if you don’t eat much fish?

Not consuming enough fish seems to be the trend these days. In a study for the USDA by Jahns et al. (2014)1 they revealed that even approximately 80%–90% of people who do consume seafood still do not consume enough seafood to meet recommendations when needs were estimated by energy requirements.

Are you a part of this statistic?

If you simply detest fish, or you know you aren’t going to eat two servings of fish per week, there is something else you can do to reap the extraordinarily healthy benefits that fish can provide your body.

You can always take a fish oil supplement.

What is Fish Oil?

Fish oil is exactly what it says it is. It is the oil that is extracted from fish. It contains all of the omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies need that you would get when you eat fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, anchovies, albacore tuna, or sardines. However, instead of preparing fish twice per week you just have to take a couple of fish oil capsules to get your daily dose of beneficial omega-3s.

There are two key omega-3 fatty acids that are particularly important. They are docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, and eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA. Together these two omega-3s work to keep your body healthy by supporting your heart, liver, muscles, skin. They also help combat chronic illnesses and can even help to maintain a healthy weight.

Want to know more?

Here is what science says about the many benefits of fish oil supplementation.

Have A Healthy Heart

You have probably heard of fish oil or know someone who takes it. Fish oil supplements are most commonly known for their contribution to cardiovascular health.  Here are the numerous ways that one simple supplement can keep your heart healthy:

Reduce Triglycerides

Triglycerides are a type of fat found in human blood. High triglyceride levels are dangerous because they can increase your risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death for both men and women.

What research has found is that those who consume high doses of omega-3s can reduce their triglycerides levels according to the National Institutes of Health, or NIH2. In high doses, which are considered a pharmaceutical dose (3.4 grams per day), fish oil can reduce plasma triglyceride levels by about 25-50% after one month of treatment according to Shearer et al. (2012)3.

Keep Cholesterol Levels In Check

Cholesterol is another type of lipid, or fat, found in the bloodstream. By keeping your cholesterol levels in check, you can prevent from developing chronic coronary heart disease. The natural way to prevent this is to cut unhealthy fats from your diet and consume healthy fats that increase good cholesterol, HDL, and lower bad cholesterol, LDL. If you know you will not eat fish to obtain these healthy fats, then a fish oil supplement is an alternative way to consume needed healthy fats.

In a 12-week study by Shen et al. (2017)4, researchers found that in older adults who had pre-hypertension and/or elevated blood cholesterol that supplementing with fish oil not only helped lower cholesterol levels but it also helped reduce the severity of associated symptoms such as headache, palpitations, and chest tightness.

Prevent Plaque Build Up

When you keep your cholesterol in check you also prevent the buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries called plaque. Over time, plaque narrows your arteries making it hard for blood to flow. From this, you can develop coronary heart disease.

Using a fish oil supplement can reduce the growth rate of plaque by preventing the buildup of cholesterol as previously mentioned.  The Cleveland Clinic5 states that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil also help keep the lining of the arteries smooth and free of damage that can lead to thick, hard arteries. This helps keep plaque from forming in the arteries.

Reduce Blood Pressure

If you are looking for a natural way to lower your blood pressure, consider making a fish oil supplement part of your daily regimen.

In a study of 257 adults that were not on prescription blood pressure medications, Liu et al. (2011)6 found that a modest, inverse association was found between DHA exposure and both clinic and ambulatory diastolic blood pressure.  Similar results were also found by Minihane et al. (2016)7. They attest that these results “show clinically meaningful blood pressure reductions, which, at a population level, could be associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk.”

What we can conclude from the numerous bodies of research on fish oil supplements for heart health is that it can play a significant role in keeping our cardiovascular health balanced and help prevent heart disease.

Lose Fat & Inches

Not only can you keep your heart healthy by supplementing with fish oil, but you may also drop some fat mass and lose a few inches in the process. Though you aren’t going to drop huge amounts of weight, you could lose a pound or two per month which adds up. In one year, that would be 12-24 pounds. So, it really does add up in the long run.

How does it work?

Decrease In Appetite

All diets typically include calorie restriction which may be the hardest part of dieting because you feel hungry. Fish oil can help you get through hunger pangs by helping curb your appetite.

Parra et al. (2008)8 studied the impact of fish oil on appetite control when given to overweight and obese participants who were placed on a calorie-restricted diet. At the end of the 8-weeks, they concluded that the fish oil intake “modulated postprandial satiety in overweight and obese volunteers during weight loss.”  Researchers also noted that this is significant because there is a possibility that increased feelings of fullness from fish oil “might reduce subsequent food intake, leading to improvements in weight loss and body composition.”

This would assist in the battle to lose weight and keep it off.

Burn Fat

In a study on overweight volunteers, Hill et al. (2007)9, found that combining fish oil and regular exercise were more powerful together for improving body composition than just exercise alone.

In another study by Noreen et al. (2010)10 researchers studied the effects of supplemental fish oil on resting metabolic rate, body composition, and cortisol production in healthy adults. What they found in their 6-week study was that fish oil significantly increased lean body mass and decreased fat mass.

We can conclude that fish oil is helpful in the entire weight loss process from helping stave off hunger to providing our bodies with healthy fats that help to burn off unwanted fat.

Reduce Liver Fat

The fat that accumulates around our bodies is not the only type of fat we should fear. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, is now the most common liver disease worldwide according to Dassanayake (2018)11. This disease impacts all people from children to adults.

Fatty liver disease is the buildup of fat in the liver cells which makes it difficult for the liver to function properly. It is caused by a number of things. Excessive alcohol consumption causes fatty liver disease.  Poor dietary habits, high triglyceride levels, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, and many other health-related conditions all contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Fish oil has been shown to improve liver health in people of all ages. A study on children with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), Nobili et al. (2013)12, found that supplementation with DHA, which is found in fish oil, “improves liver steatosis” in children with NAFLD.  They also attested that “doses of 250 mg/day and 500 mg/day of DHA appear to be equally effective in reducing liver fat content.” Pacifico et al. (2015)13 found similar results in their 6-month study of 51 children.

Positive results have also been found in adults with NAFLD. A meta-analysis that included studies on a total of 577 adults by Lu et al. (2016)14 has concluded that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is an effective treatment option for NAFLD.

Healthy Muscles & Exercise Performance

We ask a lot of our muscles every day especially when we exercise. An extremely important part of keeping our bodies healthy now as well into our golden years is taking care of our muscles.

You guessed it; fish oil supplementation can help by acting as an anti-inflammatory agent and it protects the cells around your muscle fibers. Having omega-3 fatty acids in muscle cells also readies your muscles for protein synthesis which helps muscles to grow.

Gammone et al. (2018)15 studied athletes and reported that fish oil had many benefits for their muscular health including:

  • Improving metabolic response of skeletal muscle leading to optimized training gains
  • Improvements in complex reaction time and efficiency
  • Aids in high-level competition performance
  • Enhanced recovery due to anti-inflammatory properties
  • Reduced risk of illness due to antioxidant properties

Researchers concluded that fish oil has the potential to be “an ergogenic aid that enhances training and sports performance at low cost and little risk.”

Interestingly, in a study on older adults, Da Boit et al. (2017)16 found that long-chain n–3 polyunsaturated  fatty acid  supplementation (found in fish oil) “augments increases in muscle function and quality in older women but not in older men after resistance exercise training.” More research is needed to understand why it is more effective in one gender than the other.

Healthy Skin

Of all the beauty products available, it’s hard to know what really works. Instead of spending a fortune in the beauty aisle, look on the supplement shelves for a less expensive way to get glowing skin.

As they say, glowing skin is created from within. Taking fish oil can help with everything from wrinkles to problematic skin issues such as psoriasis, acne, and eczema. Huang et al. (2018)17 attest that “the fatty acids in fish oil can improve skin barrier function, inhibit UV-induced inflammation and hyperpigmentation, attenuate dry skin and pruritus elicited by dermatitis, accelerate skin wound healing, and prevent skin cancer development.”

Taking a fish oil supplement seems to be the easiest skin care regimen to follow and the least expensive beauty secret on the market.

Healthy Joints

Joint pain is a vexing issue that many of us won’t experience in our 20s, but it will eventually happen. Joint pain can make daily activities uncomfortable and make exercising uncomfortable at an age when it’s very beneficial to keep the body moving and healthy.

UPMC Orthopaedic Care18 suggests that people with joint pain should consider taking fish oil supplements to find relief. They state that omega-3 fatty acids help increase blood flow throughout your body and that as little as 1-3 grams per day can help reduce the intensity of joint pain symptoms such as:

  • morning stiffness
  • tenderness
  • swelling
  • and discomfort

Other reports, such as those released by NIH19, show that fish oil can even help relieve symptoms of severe joint problems such as rheumatoid arthritis.

How To Choose Your Fish Oil Supplement

Now that you understand the benefits of fish oil, you need to understand how to choose a quality supplement. Become a label reader!

You want to choose a fish oil supplement with the highest amounts of DHA and EPA per capsule. These are the ingredients that are providing the health benefits that you are looking for.

First, know how much EPA and DHA you want to take each day. Next, you are going to have to do some math. Simply add up the listed milligrams for both EPA and DHA which are listed on the product’s label. How many of those pills will you have to take per day to meet your daily requirement? If you feel the number of pills is high, look for pills with higher amounts of EPA and DHA.

Besides EPA and DHA, the remainder of the substances found in the product should be other types of fatty acids that help to increase the absorption of EPA and DHA.

You’ll also want to look for a product that is natural. If it is natural, it should be free of impurities and harmful substances such as pesticides and heavy metals. Natural products will also have other beneficial vitamins which you will see listed on the label.

Conclusion

Fish oil is a relatively inexpensive way to keep your body working like a well-oiled machine – literally and figuratively. It is safe for people of all ages and can benefit your overall health. If you know you won’t get your recommended two servings of fish per week, you should consider supplementing with fish oil to supply your body with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

Supplement Facts

Serving Size: 1 softgel Servings Per Container: 60

IngredientAmount Per Serving%DV
Fish Oil1000 mg*
EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid)180 mg188%
DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid)120 mg188%

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