5 Science-Based Benefits of Fish Oil

Fish oil can be obtained from eating fish or by taking supplements. Fish that are especially rich in the beneficial oils known as omega-3 fatty acids include mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, cod liver, whale blubber, and seal blubber. Two of the most important omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). According to studies, fish oil may help with a range of medical conditions. Read on to find out the benefits of fish oil!

Protects your heart

Some studies show that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may help reduce several risk factors of heart disease. Fish oil is linked to lower levels of triglycerides (fats in the blood), and helps prevent or treat hardening of the arteries by slowing production of plaque or blood clots.

Studies also suggest that regularly consuming foods with omega-3 fatty acids may help protect against stroke. However, new evidence from an analysis of 14 clinical trials suggests fish oil might not benefit people who already suffered a heart attack or stroke, according to Seung-Kwon Myung, M.D., a researcher of family medicine at Seoul National University in South Korea.

Benefits your bones

Another one of the many fish oil benefits is that it may help your bones. According to a study, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil was found to have positive effects on bone health in animals. Studies showed that the fatty acids appeared to increase the amount of calcium the body absorbs and diminish the amount of calcium lost in urine. This promotes bone strength and growth.

Treat mental illness

We know that fatty acids are essential to healthy brain function, but study results on the effectiveness of fish oil supplements to treat a range of mental disorders are still preliminary, so always talk to your doctor before treating yourself.

A group of studies suggested that the omega-3s found in fish oil had a positive effect on people with primary depression. One small study found that patients with bipolar disorder who took fish oil supplements in addition to regular medication had fewer mood swings than those who took a placebo pill. And, five of six double-blind trials in schizophrenia found omega-3s to have a therapeutic benefit.

May help regulate diabetes

New research from Harvard School of Public Health found that the omega-3s in fish oil supplements increased levels of adiponectin in the bloodstream, a hormone that aids in glucose regulation. Researchers say that higher levels of adiponectin are associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

May reduce rheumatoid arthritis symptoms

Another one of the fish oil benefits is that it can help with joint pain. Studies suggest the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes painful inflammation of the joints.

One study found that taking fish oil supplements in conjunction with conventional RA therapies was associated with better remission rates, meaning omega-3s may be effective at relieving joint pain in the long term.

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