7 Health Benefits Of Fish Oil

Have you ever taken fish oil supplements? Lots of folks have due to their alleged health benefits, especially when it comes to heart health. In fact, it’s reported that fish oil is one of the most popular natural products used. Up to 8% of Americans or 18 million people take the supplement and it seems to be on the rise. So what’s all the fuss about? Are there side effects you should be aware of? What are the health perks associated with this fishy pill? Can I just eat fish instead of taking the oil? We’re gonna cover all that and more in today’s post. So stick around.

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Why Take Fish Oil?

Fish oil doesn’t sound all that appetizing, so why do people take it? Well, the biggest reason people seem to flock to the supermarket for fish oil supplements is because of the healthy omega-3s present. Omega-3s are important because our modern diet neglects this healthy fat and often replaces it with omega-6s. Without getting too sciency, if you’re omega-3s and omega-6s are unbalanced it can up your risk for all sorts of unwanted diseases like obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic illnesses. Our bodies can’t make omega-3s on their own which means we gotta get it from our food. Fish oil supplements are a quick way to load up on omega-3s without all the fuss of cooking or catching a fish. Not to mention they boast big health benefits like heart protection, fighting inflammation, improving your mental state, and even helping you live longer. But is this miracle oil really all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s find out.

The Pros;

#1 Could Reduce Stroke

Studies show that taking fish oil supplements might help in reducing your risk of one type of stroke called Ischemic Stroke, caused by a blockage of a blood vessel in the brain. However, omega-3s can’t stop you from having a stroke completely nor can they prevent you from dying from a stroke. It’s not a miracle pill, but preventing any kind of stroke is a plus in our books.

#2 Can Help Relieve Arthritis Symptoms

When it comes to Rheumatoid Arthritis fish oil was found to help relieve the symptoms and help patients reduce their dependency on anti-inflammatory medication. Fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties, so when it comes to chronic inflammation it might be something positive to add to your health. However it’s not recommended that you ditch your regular dosage if you do suffer from this type of arthritis, this was just during a study, and you should talk to your doctor about adding fish oil to your diet if that’s something you’re curious about.

#3 Could Help In Treating Certain Mental Disorders

Omega-3s play a big part in our brain chemistry, and they’re necessary for our brains to function normally. Some research suggests that taking fish oil can help prevent certain mental disorders in people who are at risk, and it could possibly help improve symptoms in those who are suffering. Some of the results showed that those with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder benefited from a high dosage of fish oil.

#4 It Could Help Keep You Sharp

We all want to keep out wits about us as we age, and like we said in our previous point, Omega-3s are essential for proper brain function. One study had adults take fish oil for 5 weeks. When the test was over, their cognitive performance had improved compared to those who took a placebo. Not only can it help keep you sharp, it might be able to help you live a happier life too when it comes to mental illness. Research suggests that those who include more omega-3s in their diet are likelier to have a lower risk of depression and anxiety.

#5 Their Good To Take If You’re Pregnant

Pregnant women are often encouraged to eat a small amount of seafood every week (about 8 ounces but no more than 12 ounces). One issue with this is the levels of mercury that can be found in fish which is why this fish oil supplement is more attractive and is a common supplement to take among pregnant women. Studies show that taking fish oil when pregnant can help your baby gain a few extra pounds before birth without upping the risk of low birth weight. The research also shows that women who took fish oil while pregnant carried their babies a little longer than normal, but had no effect on premature births.

#6 They May Help Protect Your Heart

We have to say they might help instead of they will help because everyone reacts differently, depending on your body chemistry and there are credited studies that support both sides of the coin. Studies do lean towards the positive when it comes to increasing the good cholesterol (HDL) in your body, reducing blood pressure, and preventing plaque from forming in the arteries. All things that are great for your heart health in general. Some studies even suggest taking fish oil can possibly lower your risk of heart attack, and death from heart disease as well, BUT there has been lots of conflicting evidence on this and we want to be clear and give you all the facts. There’s also credible research out there that shows taking fish oil and omega-3 supplements do nothing to reduce your risk of having a heart attack, or death from heart disease. The evidence is really all over the map on this topic.

#7 Could Help You Lose Weight

There is research out there to support the fact that omega-3s help you lose weight, and fish oil is a way to get more omega-3s into your body. Not to mention upping the amount of omega-3s in your diet can slow the decline of muscle mass in older adults. There’s also evidence that suggests that combined with proper exercise fish oil supplements can help you drop a few pounds, but there is conflicting research on this topic and you should take this one with a grain of salt. There are very few shortcuts to losing weight; the only true way to do it is through proper diet and exercise. 

Speaking of weight loss... If you want to know more helpful tips on losing weight why don’t you read our post called “8 Weight Loss Tip Tested, Here’s What Worked” Or If you want to know what eating fish can do for you, check out our clip called “Eating Fish Does This To Your Body | Start Eating Once A Day!” 

Now that you know the pros of taking fish oil supplements let’s take a look at some of The Cons;

The Cons;

As you saw earlier a lot of the research on fish oil is split, and we wouldn’t be doing this post justice if we didn’t tell you about the risks of taking fish oil.

#1 There Are Some Risks To Taking This Supplement

So after watching the first half of this post, it seems like it can’t hurt to take fish oil, because why not right? If the benefits are there, then I might as well take it. Well, hold your horses, friend. That’s not totally true. Some studies have found traces of harmful chemicals in certain brands of fish oil that are linked to cancer. This is because the fish this oil was extracted from were swimming in polluted waters. Not to mention some brands don’t provide enough omega-3s in their supplements to actually be helpful to you at all.

#2 Fish Oil Thins Your Blood

Fish oil is known for its blood-thinning effect, so if you take too much of it you can increase your bleeding risk, especially if you’re already taking anti-clotting medications or other supplements that thin your blood like Aspirin, Garlic, Ginger, or Supplemental Vitamin E among others.

#3 Bad Smell 

Something smells fishy...Oh, right it’s the fish oil. It’s hard to get away from the smell of fish, especially if you’re eating it for lunch in the office. Fish oil naturally has a distinctive odor from a smelly animal. Some people say that taking fish oil on a regular basis can cause you to have bad breath, or can leave a bad taste in your mouth. Others also say that your sweat can start to have a fishy scent too, but it’s on a case-by-case basis. Besides the smell, it won’t really harm you...just your reputation.

So, should you take fish oil supplements? Like anything else in this life, the real thing is always better than taking a supplement that only gives you one part of the Vitamins and nutrients your body needs. Eating fatty fish will give your body a plethora of Vitamins, Minerals, and Supporting Molecules WITH the healthy omega-3s you’re after. If you’re interested in taking fish oil supplements we recommend you take them to your doctor and see if they’re going to benefit you before you jump on the fishy bandwagon.

Do you take fish oil supplements already? What’s your favorite fish dish? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

The information I provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. You should never use content in my writing as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if indicated for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. I am not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this blog. Thank you.

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