It's well known that fish oil is very healthy for us, and is recommended by so many doctors. I try to eat fish once a week, and figured that was enough. Nope, you should have fish oil everyday! In fact most doctors recommend taking at least 3 fish oil pills a day! I decided to buy some pills for myself, after discussing it with my doctor, and have started taking them three times a day as instructed. So why is fish oil so good for us?
First off, fish oil is taken from the tissues of oily fish. It is not taken from one particular organ either, but taken from several and a fish oil capsule may contain oils from several different types of fish. Fish oil contains something known as Omega-3 fatty acids -GOOD fat, yup you read that correctly. It has well known health benefits, including reducing inflammation. The type of fish include: mackerel, rainbow trout, lake trout, halibut, herring, sea bass, sardines, swordfish, oysters, albacore tuna, blue fin tuna, yellow fin tuna, turbot, pilchards, anchovies and salmon. What's interesting is, fish don't actually produce Omega-3 fatty acids, but it is in the foods they eat, like other fish, or sea plants.
What are the benefits of taking fish oil?
Heart Health: The American Heart Association has done several studies, and has proven that fish oil can help decrease the incidence of cardiovascular disease. It works well to decrease bad cholesterol, and also helps increase the good cholesterol! Fish oil also works well to help prevent clogged arteries, which in turn helps prevents heart attacks and strokes.
Weight Loss: Research has shown that with a healthy diet and regular exercise along with fish oil, it can help you loose weight faster, than those two alone.
Immunity: Research has also shown that fish oil, taken over time, can help build up your immune system and help prevent more colds and flu's from occurring. It is also very beneficial to patients suffering from lupus and aid in reducing the pain and inflammation that may occur in joints, eyes, kidney, heart, blood vessels, lungs, nerves, etc.
Inflammation: Fish oil has been proven to help reduce inflammation all over the body, including our joints and lungs. It is great for inflammation diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Asthma, and Crohn's disease! This is a well known supplement suggested to be taken by every rheumatologist I've encountered.
Depression and Anxiety: It is good for relieving depression, sadness, anxiety, restlessness, mental fatigue, stress, decreased sexual desire, suicidal tendencies and other nervous disorders. There has also been successful research that fish oil is great for helping treat bipolar disorders.
Alzheimer’s Disease: The Alzheimer's association recommends fish containing higher content of omega three fatty acids to patients as it acts as a protective diet during Alzheimer disease and dementia. Fish oil is usually prescribed in aiding with the treatment of this disease.
ADHD or ADD: Studies have been conducted that when children suffering from ADHD were given doses of fish oil and evening primrose capsules for 15 weeks, they showed significant improvement. Since our brain consists of about 60% of fats, especially essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6, fish oil helps in improving the functioning of the brain It is also believed that fish oil is useful in the normal development of the brain. Fish oil has also been proven that when pregnant women are given regular doses of this, the children show better hand eye coordination.
Skin Care: Fish oil can help with those who suffer from dry skin and skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis. It is known to help reduce the loss of moisture from you skin, and also give you a soft glow to your skin. It has also been shown that fish oil can help decrease acne!
Hair Care: Want more healthy looking shiny hair? Fish oil can help make your hair more healthy, and helps prevent hair loss. It also can aid in helping your hair grow faster.
These are just some of the benefits of taking fish oil! Amazing how it can help us in so many ways. Are there risks in taking fish oil pills? Of course! So what are the risks? The risks below are usually an indicator of taking too much fish oil. If you're a fish eater, decrease the amount of pills you take the day you're eating the fish to help prevent any side affects from occurring. This isn't a list of all possible risk, but just the most common.
- Thinning of the blood and reduced ability of the blood to clot, increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
Warning: Fish oil shouldn't be taken with blood thinning medication - warfarin or aspirin for example. It shouldn't be taken by anyone with bleeding disorders or uncontrolled hypertension. If you are taking any medication please check with your doctor before supplementing your diet with fish oil.
- Increased cholesterol in people with combined hyperlipidemia.
- Large doses* may suppress the immune system
- Large doses* can increase glucose levels in people with diabetes.
- Increased bleeding, nosebleeds, easy bruising.
- Upset stomach or intestines, nausea, diarrhoea, belching.
- Fishy odour.
*Large dose is 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day. This is NOT 3000mg of Fish Oil, but of the Omega-3. Recommended dose of Fish Oil is is 3-4 capsules per day. Anything over this amount, is considered too much.
As always I am NOT a medical professional, and starting ANY kind of medication, even a natural supplement should be discussed with a doctor before starting. It is suggested to start off slow with the capsules, taking 1 a day for a few days, then increasing as time goes on. This may help prevent any side effects from occurring.
Labels: Autoimmune, Benefits of Fish, Depression, Fish Oil, Hair Care, Heart Health, Immunity, Inflammation, Rheumatiod Arthritis (RA), Skin Care, Weight Loss