Fish Oil uses and benefits

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Fish Oil uses and benefits

Fish Oil Quick Facts
Name: Fish Oil
Colors Yellow
Calories 123 Kcal./cup
Health benefits Good for Heart Health, Help Reduce Weight, Help prevent or treat arthritis, Beneficial for Skin, Reduce Inflammation and Symptoms of Inflammatory Disease, Help Treat Certain Mental Disorders, Reduce Liver Fat, Important During Pregnancy , Help treat acne, Support Eye Health and Help Protect Vision in Old Age, Help Improve Depression and Anxiety, Improve Attention and Hyperactivity in Children, Kidney Disease, Improve Asthma Symptoms and the Risk of Allergies, Improve Bone Health, Help Prevent Symptoms of Mental Decline, Abatement of signs and symptoms of ageing
More facts about Fish Oil
Fish oil is oil derived from the tissues of oily fish such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, sturgeon, mullet, bluefish, anchovy, sardines, herring, trout, and menhaden. They provide about 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids in about 3.5 ounces of fish. The best sources are cold-water, fatty fish. Fish oils contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), precursors of certain eicosanoids that are known to reduce inflammation in the body and have other health benefits. Nonetheless, fish oil supplement studies have failed to support claims of preventing heart attacks or strokes. When it comes to human consumption of fish oil, you can get it from fish themselves or from a fish oil supplement.

Fish oil supplements often consist of small amounts of vitamin E to prevent spoilage. They might also be combined with calcium, iron, or vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, or D. Fish oil is used for a wide range of conditions. It is most often used for conditions related to the heart and blood system. Some people use fish oil to lower blood pressure or triglyceride levels. Fish oil has also been tried for preventing heart disease or stroke. The scientific proof suggests that fish oil really does lower high triglycerides, and it also seems to help prevent heart disease and stroke when taken in the recommended amounts. Ironically, taking too much fish oil can actually increase the risk of stroke. Fish may have earned its reputation as “brain food” because some people eat fish to help with depression, psychosis, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Alzheimer’s disease, and other thinking disorders.

Health benefits of Fish Oil

There are numerous health benefits of fish oil; some we know of and have real evidence for, while others have yet to be proven. While the exact number of benefits fish oil has to offer may vary depending on the source, we can all agree that there is something for everyone to benefit from. Whether it’s for brain health, heart health, or boosting overall mood & appearance, you can find something in fish oil to use on a daily basis. There are so many fish oil benefits. These are just some of the top scientifically proven fish oil benefits

1. Good for Heart Health

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Research has shown that people who eat a lot of fish have much lower rates of heart disease.

There are a number of risk factors for heart disease, and many of these appear to be reduced by fish or fish oil consumption.

The benefits of fish oil for heart health include:

  • Cholesterol levels: It helps to increase levels of HDL (the “good”) cholesterol. However, it does not appear to reduce levels of LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol.
  • Triglycerides: It lowers triglycerides by about 15–30%.
  • Blood pressure: Even in small doses, it helps reduce blood pressure in those with high blood pressure.
  • Plaques: It also prevents the plaques that form in arteries and cause them to harden, as well as make arterial plaques more stable and safer in those who already have them.
  • Fatal arrhythmias: In people who are at risk, it reduces fatal arrhythmia events. Arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms that may cause heart attacks in certain cases.

Although fish oil supplementation can improve many of the risk factors for heart disease, there is no clear proof that it can prevent heart attacks or strokes.(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), (15), (16), (17), (18), (19), (20)

2. Help Reduce Weight and Waist Circumference

Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. Internationally, about 39% of adults are overweight, while 13% are obese. The numbers are even higher in high-income countries like the US. Obesity can expressively increase the risk of other diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Fish oil supplementation may help to improve body composition and risk factors for heart disease in obese people. Additionally, some researches have shown that fish oil supplementation along with diet or exercise, can help you lose weight. However, not all studies have found the same result.

One analysis of 21 studies found that fish oil supplementation didn’t considerably reduce weight in obese individuals, but it reduce waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio.(21), (22), (23), (24), (25), (26), (27), (28), (30), (31), (32), (33)

3. Help prevent or treat arthritis

Arthritis is a form of inflammatory joint disease that occurs as we grow older.

Given the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fats, many fish oil supplement brands claim they can prevent or alleviate inflammatory symptoms related with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Limited animal and human trials have found benefits, largely seen when consuming more omega-3 fats (from fish oil or krill oil) in place of omega-6 fats.

Additionally, a high seafood intake is constantly linked to a lower risk of fractures in the elderly, which recommends fish oil may be protective of bone health.

Theoretically fish oil could be directly responsible for these effects, however we can’t say for sure until more long-term human trials are undertaken.(34), (35), (36), (37), (38), (39)

4. Beneficial for Skin

Skin is the largest organ in the human body, and it contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. Skin health can decline throughout your life, particularly during old age or after too much sun exposure.

Fortunately, there are a number of skin disorders that may benefit from fish oil supplementation, including psoriasis and dermatitis.(40), (41), (42), (43)

5. Reduce Inflammation and Symptoms of Inflammatory Disease

Inflammation is the immune system’s way of fighting infection and treating injury to the body. However, inflammation can sometimes occur at low levels over long periods. This is called chronic inflammation. It may worsen certain chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, depression and heart disease.

In these cases, reducing inflammation can help treat symptoms of the disease. Fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties and can help treat diseases that include chronic inflammation. For example, in stressed and obese individuals, fish oil can reduce the production and gene expression of inflammatory molecules called cytokines.

Moreover, fish oil supplementation can considerably reduce joint pain, stiffness and medication needs in people with rheumatoid arthritis, a disease in which inflammation leads to painful joints. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is another disorder worsened by inflammation. However, presently there is no clear evidence on whether fish oil improves symptoms of IBD.(44), (45), (46), (47), (48), (49), (50), (51), (52), (53)

6. Help Treat Certain Mental Disorders

As we all know that the brain is made up of nearly 60% fat, and much of this fat is omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, omega-3s are quite important for normal brain function. Researches have shown that people with certain mental disorders have lower omega-3 blood levels.

Remarkably, researches have shown that fish oil supplementation help to prevent the onset or improve the symptoms of some mental disorders. For example, it can reduce the risk of psychotic disorders in those who are at risk.

Additionally, supplementing with fish oil in high doses helps reduce some symptoms of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. (54), (55), (56), (57), (58), (59), (60), (61), (62), (63), (64), (65)

7. Reduce Liver Fat

Your liver processes most of the fat in your body and can play a big role in weight gain.

The occurrence of liver disease is speedily rising, mainly non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which includes the accumulation of fat in the liver.

Fish oil supplementation can improve liver function and inflammation in humans, which may help reduce symptoms of NAFLD and the amount of fat in the liver.(66), (67), (68), (69), (70)

8. Important During Pregnancy and Early Life

Omega-3s are quite essential for early growth and development.

Therefore, it’s important for mothers to get sufficient omega-3s during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Fish oil supplementation in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers helps to improve hand and eye synchronization in infants. However, it’s unclear whether learning or IQ is improved.

Maternal and early fish oil supplementation may also improve infant visual development and help reduce the risk of allergies.(71), (72), (73), (74), (75), (76), (77)

9. Help treat acne

Acne is a complex inflammatory skin condition that is common in Westernized societies than others.Many specialists believe it is because of low omega-3 intake (and perhaps high omega-6 intake) of most Western diets. Omega-3 fats are supposed to prevent mediators responsible for most inflammatory acne lesions (pimples).This could be why a greater fish intake is related with a protective effect against moderate acne.But does that mean fish oil is good for your skin?

The one trial looking at the effects of fish oil and acne contained only 13 subjects. After twelve weeks, there was no significant improvement seen with fish oil treatment (930 mg EPA). Eight subjects saw improvements, yet four subjects got worse.

There is no doubt that diet influences acne occurrence and severity, but the reported benefits of fish oil pills needs to be further studied. (78), (79), (80), (81), (82)

10. Support Eye Health and Help Protect Vision in Old Age

Apart from brain, omega-3 fats are an important part of the structure of the eye. Proof has shown that people who don’t get sufficient omega-3s have a greater risk of eye diseases.

Additionally, eye health begins to decline in old age, which can lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Regular consumption of fish seems to help prevent AMD, but the results on fish oil supplementation are less conclusive.

Research found that consuming a high dose of fish oil for four and a half months improved vision in all AMD patients. However, this was a very minor study.

Two major researches examined the combined effect of omega-3s and other nutrients on AMD. One study showed a positive effect, while the other showed no effect. Therefore, the results are uncertain.(83), (84), (85), (86), (87), (88), (89)

11. Help Improve Depression and Anxiety

Depression is predicted to become the second important cause of disease burden internationally by 2030.

Remarkably, people with major depression appear to have lower blood levels of omega-3s. Researches have shown that fish oil and omega-3 supplementation can improve symptoms of depression.

Furthermore, some studies have shown that oils rich in EPA help reduce depressive symptoms more than DHA.(90), (91), (92), (93), (94), (95), (96), (97), (98)

12. Improve Attention and Hyperactivity in Children

Several behavioral disorders in children, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), involve hyperactivity and inattention.

Omega-3s make up a significant proportion of the brain, getting sufficient of them may be important for preventing behavioral disorders in early life.

Fish oil supplementation may improve perceived hyperactivity, inattention, impulsiveness and aggression in children. This may benefit early life learning.(99), (100), (101), (102), (103)

13. Kidney Disease

Kidney failure or renal failure refers to the damaging of the kidneys or no kidney function. In a paper published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, James Donadio observed the long-term use of fish oil by patients with IgA nephropathy, a kidney disorder when IgA — a protein that helps the body fight infections — stays in the kidney. The participants of the study were followed for nearly seven years, and 85 percent of the patients who took fish oil were said to have a functioning kidney eight years after the study began. While high fish oil consumption and its relation to kidney disease require further research, scientists concluded that it can ease the disease. (104), (105)

14. Improve Asthma Symptoms and the Risk of Allergies

Asthma is a lung disorder that can cause swelling in the lungs and shortness of breath. It is becoming much more common among infants. Several researches have shown that fish oil may decrease asthma symptoms, especially in early life.

One study combined the results of eleven other studies involving nearly 100,000 people and found that a mother’s fish or omega-3 intake could reduce the risk of asthma in children by 24–29%. Furthermore, fish oil supplementation in pregnant mothers may also reduce the risk of allergies in infants. (106), (107), (108), (109), (110), (111)

15. Improve Bone Health

During old age, bones start to lose their essential minerals, making them more likely to break. This can lead to diseases like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Calcium and vitamin D are known to be quite significant for bone health, but some studies have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids can also be beneficial. People with higher omega-3 intakes and blood levels may have better bone mineral density (BMD). However, it’s unclear whether fish oil supplements improve BMD.

Several small studies have shown that fish oil supplementation reduced markers of bone breakdown, which may prevent bone disease. (112), (113), (114), (115), (116)

16. Help Prevent Symptoms of Mental Decline

As we grow old, brain function slows down, and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease increases.

People who eat more fish tend to experience a slower decline in brain function in old age.

However, researches on fish oil supplementation in older individuals haven’t provided clear evidence that they can slow the decline of brain function.

Nevertheless, few researches have shown that fish oil may improve memory in healthy, older people. (117), (118), (119), (120), (121), (122)

17. Abatement of signs and symptoms of ageing

Omega 3 fatty acids are well known for reducing the signs and symptoms of ageing.

Not only do the omega 3 fatty acids improve the inner physical health but also boost the health of the outer skin and therefore keep one young and energetic.

It is not that it prevents ageing but that makes one look and feel younger than one’s actual age.

How much fish oil should I take per day?

Optimal fish oil dosage depends on your reason for use. For general health improvements, at least 1 gram per day is suggested. Most fish oil pills are 1-2 grams per pill anyways. If you plan on taking more than 3 grams per day, consult with your doctor first.

Note that these doses refer to total fish oil, which is a combination of both EPA and DHA. The product label states how much of each omega-3 fat is contained within the pill itself. If your goal of supplementation is to lower blood pressure or triglycerides, then 2-3 grams of (total) fish oil per day is suitable. For depressive symptoms, a fish oil supplement with at least 1000 mg of EPA appears most effective, while for ADHD it should contain at least 450 mg of EPA. You can take fish oil pills at any time of the day, but its best with meals in order to minimize bloating and “fish burps”.

However here are some general guidelines for specific fish oil dosages:

  • Aging 1,000 mg twice a day
  • Angina 2,000 mg fish oils 3 times a day
  • Arrhythmia 1,000 mg 3 times a day
  • Asthma 1,000 mg 3 times a day
  • Cancer 3 capsules twice a day
  • Crohn’s disease 2,000 mg twice a day
  • Diabetes 2,000 mg 3 times a day
  • Eczema 1,000 mg 3 times a day
  • Gout 1,000 mg 3 times a day
  • Heart disease prevention 1,000 mg 3 times a day
  • High Blood pressure 1,000 mg 3 times a day
  • Lupus 2,000 mg 3 times a day
  • Psoriasis 2,000 mg 3 times a day
  • Raynaud’s disease 1,000 mg 4 times a day
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis 1,000 mg (2 Capsules) containing 600 mg EPA/DHA, twice a day
  • Skin Health 1,000 mg a day with food
  • Stroke 1,000 mg 3 times a day

The FDA does not have a specific recommended dosage for fish oil. However, the FDA does recommend that an average healthy person (above the age of 5) should not take more than 3,000 mg of fish oil per day.  The list above exceeds that recommendation in some cases and is why the advice of a medical doctor should be followed before determining the proper dosages of fish oil when used for specific medical conditions.

Caution on Dosage of Fish Oil

An excessive dosage of fish oil can have adverse allergies and side effects on the body. Additionally, fish oil can be problematic if you have certain conditions so it is important to consume fish oil supplements carefully. You must consult a doctor or physician for the exact dosage of fish oil you should take. Moreover, it can be consumed in various forms. These include eating the fish directly by baking, roasting, frying, grilling, broiling, or smoking it. You can also consume it in the form of concentrated dietary supplements like liquid, tablet, capsule, pill, or soft gels. Also, there are various pharmaceutical grades of the oil. It is not necessary to constantly consume pharmaceutical-grade oil or even supplements. You should also consult your doctor to confirm your mode of consuming fish oil and your overall need for it in your diet.

  • An Overdose of fish oil can result in bleeding, and hemorrhage stroke. The daily intake of omega-3 acids recommended by FDA is limited to 3000mg. But it is essential for people suffering from any medical condition to first consult a physician to know the appropriate dosage of fish oil.
  • Also, the predator fish like Sharks are contaminated by toxins, and that is why the oil derived from predator fish should be evaded. Find fish oils derived from fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, which are not only nutritious but also safe for consumption.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_oil

http://www.zonediet.com/blog/fish-oil-and-heart-disease-the-real-facts/

http://www.rxlist.com/fish_oil/supplements.htm

https://www.ascentahealth.com/omega-3-and-you/the-science/omega-3-sport-fish-oil-beneficial-athletes/#_ENREF_12

http://www.medicinenet.com/fish_oil/supplements-vitamins.htm

http://bembu.com/fish-oil-benefits

https://und.edu/student-life/dining/_files/docs/fact-sheets/fishoil.pdf

http://www.dietvsdisease.org/what-is-fish-oil-good-for/

http://www.arthritissa.org.au/downloads/2015-05-11_224134_Fish-Oils.pdf

http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/downloads/c8.pdf

http://www.iffo.net/system/files/LipidTechpaper-finalpdf.pdf

http://www.letsgetthin.com/pdf/fish_oil.pdf

http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/pharmacy/currentstudents/OnCampusPharmDStudents/ExperientialProgram/Documents/nutr_monographs/Monograph-fish_oil.pdf

http://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/nutrition/592.pdf

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