What Is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is derived from the tissues of fatty fish. The best fish oil is sourced from cold-water fatty fish. You can get fish oil from eating fish, but most people do not eat enough fish to get the amount of fish oil they need so it is good to find a high quality supplement. Some of the best fish to eat to get fish oil are wild-caught salmon, anchovies, herring, sardines, and white fish.
There are two very important PUFA’s (polyunsaturated fatty acids) in fish oil called docosahexaenoic acid or DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA.
Harvard University conducted a study showing that omega-3 fatty acid deficiency is one of the top 10 causes of death in America and claims that it takes the lives of up to 96,000 people per year! Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency ranked as the sixth highest killer of Americans out of the 12 metabolic, lifestyle, and dietary risk factors studied!
There are so many benefits of fish oil, but here are some of the top ones!
ADHD: If you don’t have optimal levels of omega-3, this may contribute to the symptoms of ADHD, related developmental problems, and other mental health problems over your lifetime. One study found that if you increase the amount of omega-3, specifically DHA, in children with ADHD, it may help to improve literacy and behavior.
Alzheimer’s Disease: The Alzheimer’s and omega-3 connection have been studied for several years with consistent results. Essential fatty acids from fish oil that are critical for brain function can slow brain decline as well as prevent brain atrophy in older adults.
Anxiety/Depression: A study in 2013 in the European Journal of Neuroscience showed that fish oil was able to reverse all anxiety-like and depression-like symptoms in rats. This study stressed supplementing with fish oil at times of critical brain development, which is why we give a high quality fish oil to our kids.
Arthritis: One study showed that omega-3’s performed just as well as NSAIDs in reducing pain from arthritis. Another benefit is the omega-3s are a safer alternative with less side effects!
Cancer: Some studies have shown that fish oil can help to prevent and kill different types of cancer including colon, prostate, and breast cancers. Research shows that fish oil not only improves the conventional cancer treatments, but also is an effective stand-alone treatment.
Cardiovascular Disease: It has been shown that fish oil with its anti-inflammatory qualities can help prevent and reverse cardiovascular diseases. Fish oil has also been associated with improving survival rate from heart attack victims. One study showed that people who have had a heart attack and took a high dose of fish oil after the incidence improved their heart’s overall function as well as reduced inflammatory biomarkers.
Depression: Fish oil has been shown to improve depression-like symptoms. Research not only showed that fish oil helped reduce major depression disorders, but it also improved the amino acids and nutrition in the brain.
Diabetes: Researchers have found that fish oil can help diabetics. It works by protecting the hippocampus cells in the brain from being destroyed, thus helping to protect diabetics from cognitive decline. It also helps reduce oxidative stress, which plays a big role in the development of diabetes complications.
Eye Disorders: Fish oil has also been shown to be beneficial for the eyes by helping to reverse age-related eye disorders. The EPA and DHA content can be especially beneficial for those who are at risk for neovascular age-related macular degeneration. The types of fats in fish oil have also been linked to reducing cortical cataracts.
Skin and Hair: Fish oil can also benefit your skin and hair. It helps nourish the skin and provide a smooth elastic texture. It may also help prevent wrinkles and aging! You can develop conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, dandruff, thinning hair, sun spots, and age spots if you don’t have enough fish oil. Since fish oil helps reduce inflammation, it can also help mitigate the effects of a sunburn!
Fertility and Pregnancy: It has been found that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can help improve fertility in both men and women. Fish oil is extremely beneficial for pregnant women and their children. Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant have an increased need for omega-3 fatty acids. DHA plays a vital role in the development of the fetus’ brain, nervous system, and eyes. Even after the baby is born, omega-3s are still critical for the child’s brain development and immune system function.
As you can see, supplementing with fish oil has numerous benefits. It is part of what we recommend as a very basic supplement program. This is the fish oil that our family takes and that we recommend (use referral code dodychiro, practitioner name Dody). One huge reason for this is that it is in monoglyceride form instead of a triglyceride form that all other fish oil comes in. This makes it more absorbable as well as easier to digest and easier on the liver.
Do you take any fish oil? How has it helped you?