In a health-conscious world, fish oil is quickly becoming a dietary must. From heart disease to healthy skin, fish oil, and in particular the Omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil, has been found to have several health benefits. These Omega-3 fatty acids can be found abundantly in coldwater fish, such as salmon and cod, but are also readily available in over-the-counter pills and oils.
Studies have shown that the fatty acids in fish oil can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Fish oil helps the heart by lowing triglyceride levels and blood pressure, regulating abnormal heart rhythms and slowing the buildup of plaque (hardening of the arteries). Docosahexgenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA) are two of the main reasons researchers believe fish oil is beneficial to heart health. The presence of the long-chain fatty acids DHA and EPA (the two main fatty acids found in fish oil) led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to give a “qualified health claim” in September of 2004 saying that “supportive, but not conclusive” research showed that DHA and EPA may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
When plaque builds up in the veins and arteries, clots can form. When those clots break free they can travel to the brain, causing a stroke. With the use of fish oil, plaque is broken down in the veins and arteries, reducing clots and in turn the risk of stroke.
Fish oil, in particular the EPA present in fish oil, has also been shown to help inflammatory conditions. The EPA in fish oil helps lubricate the joints to help rid the body of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, joint tenderness and morning stiffness.
Studies have also shown the use of fish oil increases the body’s production of serotonin levels. High serotonin helps the body feel good while also helping decrease the risk of mental disorders like ADHD and bipolar schizophrenia. Fish oil has also been proven to help the brain’s memory function along with helping the user’s recall ability, focus and reasoning.
Again, the long-chain fatty acids have been shown to help enhance the production of collagen and elastin. Increased collagen and elastin levels in turn help the body produce healthier and younger looking skin.