Fish oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, provides many well-known health benefits for those who take it regularly.* Modern diets are widely recognized as being deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, making fish oil supplements appropriate for a broad range of the general population.*
Most people have heard about the cardiovascular benefits of fish oil with omega 3. Although there is conflicting evidence about the role of fish oil in preventing a first or subsequent heart attack, studies do suggest fish oil does help maintain platelet aggregation levels that are already in the normal range, and may help support normal blood pressure.* A large body of research has also shown that fish oil may reduce triglyceride levels by 20% to 50%, and that this effect is dose-dependent.*
In addition, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil provide protection and maintenance of the normal function, fluidity and health of cell membranes throughout the body.* These fats help maintain and support soft tissue and connective tissue, and as such they may be used as a general health supplement to promote healthy inflammatory balance, immune function, musculoskeletal and nervous system health.* In this article, we will look at some of the main reasons to take fish oil, other than heart health.
1.Fish oil supports healthy mood, memory and focus.*
Fish is often called ‘brain food,’ due to its effects on healthy brain development and function.* DHA in particular comprises 95% or more of the Omega-3 fatty acids found in the brain and eyes.* Blood levels of DHA are 3-4 times higher than EPA, making this product helpful for maternal/fetal and childhood development, as well as ongoing brain development and eye health.* Fish oil may also help support learning and achievement.*,
2.Fish oil promotes healthy cartilage and joint function.*
Joints affect all of our physical movements, and can begin to cause discomfort as a result of the natural aging process or our lifestyle demands. In addition to regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight, certain supplements may help promote normal joint and cartilage function, and support healthy inflammatory balance.* Fish oil benefits joint health, as it supports both soft and connective tissue, and helps shift the balance of inflammatory cytokines.*
3.May help relieve mild symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle.*
Fish oil may help relieve mild mood changes and cramps associated with the menstrual cycle.* Clinical research suggests that taking fish oil, alone or in combination with certain vitamins, seems to decrease pain, NSAID use, and interruption of daily activities in adolescent girls and women with dysmenorrhea.*(1)
4.Fish oil may support bone health.*
Clinical research has begun to suggest that adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids may help maximize peak bone density at the hip in young women.*(2) Taking fish oil orally, along with evening primrose oil and calcium, may also help to decrease bone turnover and increase bone density in elderly people.*(3)
5.Cod Liver Oil helps support healthy immune function.*
This benefit is specific to the type of fish oil many of our grandparents grew up with, Cod Liver Oil. This fish oil has a long tradition of folk use to maintain wellness during the winter season, and naturally contains high amounts of the fat soluble vitamins A and D.* In research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, taking a liquid cod liver oil of adequate purity and acceptable taste for young children, along with a children's multivitamin/mineral supplement, decreased the number of pediatric visits for upper respiratory illness during the winter and early spring by 36%-58%.*(4) To avoid taking excessive amounts of Vitamin A and D.* It’s important to consult your child’s pediatrician about appropriate dosing.*
No matter which of these omega 3 fish oil benefits you may be seeking, when choosing a fish oil supplement it is vital to look for a product that is sustainably sourced using highly selective and environmentally safe fishing methods. Third-party independent lab testing should ensure freedom from rancidity markers including both primary and secondary oxidation by-products, as well as maximal freedom from heavy metals such as mercury, and persistent organic pollutants such as PCB’s and dioxins.