We need to take good care of ourselves, now more than ever. And it’s never too late to start attending to your health, whether that entails quitting smoking, starting an exercise regimen, or eating healthier food. Every little good decision you make adds up and can make a big difference.
Supplements are a good way to boost your health and shore up your immune system, and fish oil is one of the best daily supplements you can take. That’s because fish oil has far-reaching benefits. Here, we look at what fish oil is, why it’s is so good for you, how to choose quality fish oil, and how much to take for the best possible benefits.
What is Fish Oil?
Fish oil usually comes from the tissues of fatty fish like salmon, sardines, anchovies, and herring. It’s a concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for good health and only come from your diet. These long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) include docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which primarily come from fish. But you’d need to eat a lot of fish to get the therapeutic doses of omega-3 fatty acids your body needs to thrive. That’s where fish oil supplements come into play.
Four Major Health Benefits of Fish Oil
Fish oil has several proven health benefits. Here are just a few.
1. Brain Health
Sixty percent of your brain is comprised of fats, and omega-3 fats provide a nutritional powerhouse for your brain. Research shows that the fats in fish oil can slow cognitive decline and can help prevent brain atrophy.
A study published in the FASEB Journal found that fish oil may also may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s Dementia, the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, published a study showing that older adults who took fish oil enjoyed considerably less brain shrinkage and cognitive decline than their counterparts who didn’t take fish oil.
Fish oil has been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive deficits in people with diabetes by preventing brain cells from being destroyed.
Fish oil may also help protect against anxiety and depression, according to a study published in the Journal of Integrative Neuroscience.
2. Arthritis Relief
Omega-3 fatty has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation body-wide. A study published in the journal Surgical Neurology found that of 250 people with nonsurgical neck or back pain who took a daily 1,200-mg fish oil supplement, 59 percent were able to quit taking NSAIDs for pain medications, and 60 percent said that their joint pain had improved.
Similar studies have found that fish oil supplements have the same effect in reducing pain associated with arthritis.
3. Heart Health
The anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil are particularly beneficial for heart function. Studies have shown fish oil to have a positive impact on hypertension, high triglyceride levels, and high LDL cholesterol.
A study published in the journal Circulation found that people who took fish oil for six months after experiencing a heart attack showed improvements in overall heart function and a reduction in systemic inflammation.
4. Skin Health
Omega-3 fatty acids can help improve your health, and they can also help improve your appearance. The fats and fat-soluble vitamins in fish oil help your skin stay smooth and elastic, and research shows that they may help prevent wrinkles and, more importantly, dermatitis, among more severe skin issues.
A 12-week study found that a daily fish oil supplement led to a significant reduction in eczema symptoms.
The Best Dosage for Fish Oil Supplements
Eating fatty fish is the healthiest way to get your omega-3 fatty acids, but unless you eat an awful lot of fish, you may not get optimal daily amounts your body needs. Recommendations for fish oil dosage ranges from 500 to 2,000 milligrams each day.
For context, one can of tuna plus a small serving of salmon provides 500 milligrams of omega-3s. If you consume a healthy diet low in fast food, fried food, and processed foods containing vegetable oil, 500 milligrams of fish oil could be sufficient. These unhealthy foods contain high levels of omega-6 fats, which contribute to a range of chronic diseases, including arthritis, asthma, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. If you consume a lot of omega-6 fats, opt for a dosage of fish oil closer to 2,000 milligrams.
Always choose a high-quality fish oil supplement from a reputable source that’s been certified by a third party. Stonehenge Health’s Omega-3 Dynamic Fish Oil supplements contain 2,000 milligrams of fish oil, including 800 milligrams of DHA and 400 milligrams of EPA. Our fish oil is certified free of mercury and heavy metals, and third-party laboratory testing ensures the potency and purity of each batch.
Fish oil supplements can help you improve your heart health, reduce pain, and promote healthy brain tissues, among other benefits. As always, in addition to taking a fish oil supplement, strive to consume a healthy diet, and get plenty of exercise for a holistic approach to good overall health.
Sources: https://www.fasebj.org/doi/full/10.1096/fj.14-264218?sid=0b1e849e-0add-4ead-91fa-b42f9d7f2b9f https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6087692/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24954371 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16531187