Today, let’s look at what happens to your body when you consume fish oil every day over a period of 90 days and more. We also give you important tips to consider if you plan to supplement with fish oil, so you can get the best results. Many people are not aware of these tips, so make sure you watch till the end.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that your body cannot produce on its own, making it necessary to obtain them from external sources, such as fish and fish oil supplements. These two components – fish oil and omega-3s – work synergistically to promote optimal health.
Without further delay, let’s look at the benefits of taking fish oil, starting with:
Anti-Inflammatory Powers of Fish Oil
One of the most well-known and researched benefits of fish oil is its anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a range of health issues, including heart disease, arthritis, and even certain types of cancer. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), play a crucial role in reducing inflammation throughout the body.
Imagine your body as a battleground, where inflammation is the enemy causing damage and havoc. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil act as powerful soldiers fighting against this inflammation, helping restore peace and balance within.
When we consume fish oil supplements or incorporate foods rich in omega-3s into our diet, these fatty acids work at a cellular level to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory molecules. They also promote the production of anti-inflammatory molecules, creating a more harmonious internal environment.
Studies have shown that regular consumption of fish oil can significantly reduce inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). By decreasing these markers, fish oil may help alleviate symptoms in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Not only does fish oil combat inflammation internally, but it also has benefits for external inflammation-related issues. For instance, studies have shown that consuming omega-3s can improve skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis. It helps by reducing overall redness, swelling, and the severity of skin lesions. Fish oil’s anti-inflammatory properties can also enhance wound healing by speeding up the inflammatory response, which is essential for initiating the repair process.
Next, one major area where fish oil supplements have gained the most attention is their potential to:
Support Heart Health
The EPA and DHA fatty acids in fish oil contribute to reducing inflammation in the arteries, which is a key factor in developing heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, consuming 1 gram of omega-3s per day can significantly reduce cardiovascular diseases by approximately 10%.
Studies suggest that taking fish oil supplements can help lower the risk of certain cardiovascular conditions, such as coronary artery disease and high blood pressure. Even in small doses, it has been shown to decrease the blood pressure of those suffering from hypertension. And fish oil may prevent the development of plaques that cause arteries to harden, as well as make arterial plaques more stable and safer in those who already have them. However, these benefits may vary depending on factors like dosage and individual differences.
Another primary way fish oil supports heart health is by reducing triglyceride levels in the blood. People with high levels of triglycerides in their blood are more likely to suffer from coronary artery disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues.
A randomized controlled trial involving individuals with high triglyceride levels found that taking prescription omega-3 fatty acid medications significantly reduced triglyceride levels compared to a placebo group.
In addition, fish oil supplements also play a role in:
Balancing Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels
Cholesterol management is vital for maintaining a healthy heart, and fish oil supplements can contribute to achieving this goal.
Consuming fish or taking fish oil supplements rich in EPA and DHA has been associated with increased HDL cholesterol levels. Higher HDL cholesterol is linked to better heart health as it helps remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream, reducing the risk of oxidation and plaque buildup in the arteries.
While the impact on LDL cholesterol is less pronounced, studies suggest that fish oil supplements can modestly lower LDL cholesterol levels. However, it’s worth noting that this effect seems to occur mostly in individuals with elevated triglyceride levels.
It’s important to mention that other lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise, also play crucial roles in managing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
For example, a study conducted on 18,645 adults found that individuals who consumed fish regularly had significantly lower total cholesterol levels compared to those who did not consume fish. This supports the idea that incorporating fish or fish oil supplements into one’s diet can have positive impacts on heart health.
Think of balancing cholesterol and triglyceride levels as a delicate dance where the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil seamlessly harmonize with your body’s biochemistry, working together to promote a healthy cardiovascular system.
Next, let’s now turn our focus to another area where fish oil supplements show great promise:
Brain and Mental Health
Did you know that your brain is made up of nearly 60% fat, and much of this fat is omega-3 fatty acids? Both EPA and DHA fatty acids in omega-3 are important, but DHA may be more important when it comes to brain health. That’s because DHA is the predominant fatty acid in the brain and eye tissue, where it is several hundred times more abundant than EPA.
Studies have shown that fish oil can raise the amount of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a vital growth factor for the brain and central nervous system that plays a key role in cognitive function, mood, and mental health. One of the primary ways BDNF contributes to brain health is by supporting neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to adapt and form new connections between neurons, facilitating learning and memory processes.
Omega-3 fatty acids serve as building blocks for cell membranes in the brain, ensuring optimal communication between nerve cells and enhancing cognitive functions.
Furthermore, fish oil exerts anti-inflammatory effects within the brain, reducing inflammation that can arise from factors such as oxidative stress or neurodegenerative diseases. By modulating inflammation, fish oil supplementation may help alleviate symptoms associated with conditions like depression, anxiety, and age-related cognitive decline.
Studies showed a 13% decrease in the risk of brain-related declines, like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with higher omega-3 intake. And a 2014 metaanalysis found that regular consumption of fish oil supplements containing high levels of EPA, could decrease symptoms in patients with major depressive disorder by approximately 30%.
So, if someone you know has been struggling with chronic stress and experiencing feelings of anxiety, introducing fish oil into their diet could potentially provide relief by reducing inflammation in the brain and promoting a more balanced mood.
In addition to its impact on general mental health, fish oil has also shown promise in:
Reducing Symptoms of Neurodevelopment Disorders
Neurodevelopmental disorders encompass a range of conditions characterized by atypical development of the brain and nervous system. Examples include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and dyslexia.
Fish oil supplementation has been investigated as a potential intervention for alleviating symptoms associated with these disorders. That’s because the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil help to regulate neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers in the brain.
Studies have shown that supplementing with fish oil can improve attention and focus in individuals with ADHD, potentially reducing impulsivity and hyperactivity.
Think of fish oil as the conductor of a symphony, harmonizing the neurotransmitter communication in the brain to promote better focus and control.
Moreover, omega-3 fatty acids may support cognitive function in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Some studies have indicated that fish oil supplements could enhance language and social skills while reducing repetitive behaviors often associated with autism.
It’s important to note that fish oil should be considered as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for neurodevelopmental disorders, involving appropriate medical and therapeutic interventions. Always consult with healthcare professionals before incorporating any supplements into one’s regimen, especially for children.
Now, let’s explore the other diverse ways fish oil can positively impact our well-being.
Diverse Health Benefits
- Joint Health: Fish oil’s anti-inflammatory properties have shown promising results in reducing joint pain and stiffness associated with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. By mitigating inflammation, and providing lubrication and nourishment to the joints, fish oil can contribute to improved joint mobility and overall comfort for those with joint-related issues.
- Skin Health: Omega-3 fatty acids help maintain healthy skin by supporting its natural barrier function. Fish oil supplements are known to alleviate skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema or atopic dermatitis, reducing redness, itching, and scaling associated with these conditions. They may also contribute to skin hydration, promoting a youthful appearance.
- Eye Health: While evidence regarding fish oil’s effect on preventing eye diseases is still emerging, studies suggest that consuming omega-3s may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and dry eyes. Including fish oil supplements in your diet may be beneficial for maintaining good eye health.
- Pregnancy Support: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential during pregnancy for fetal brain development. Supplementing with fish oil during pregnancy has been linked to improved infant visual development, reduced risk of allergies, and protective effects against preterm birth complications.
- Liver Function: Fish oil supplementation may aid in improving liver function and reducing fat accumulation in individuals dealing with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s contribute to better liver health.
Next, let’s look at:
How to Supplement with Fish Oil
Here are some suggestions and considerations if you plan to consume fish oil every day:
Look for a high-quality supplement that is in the natural triglyceride form, and clearly states the amount of EPA and DHA per serving on the label. You may want to choose one with a high DHA to EPA ratio, like the one we recommend below.
Choose fish oil that has been purified through molecular distillation or supercritical CO2 extraction to remove contaminants like heavy metals and toxins.
Look for enteric-coated capsules that help prevent burping up the taste of fish.
A supplement containing vitamin E as an antioxidant can prevent oxidation and rancidity. To maintain freshness, store your fish oil supplements away from light, or in the refrigerator.
Be sure not to use any supplements that have a rancid smell or are past their expiration date.
It is recommended to consume fish oil supplements with a meal that contains fat. This helps improve the absorption of omega-3 fatty acids, allowing your body to make the most of them.
Begin by taking 1 gram (1000 mg) of fish oil per day. Over time, you can gradually increase your dosage to 2-4 grams per day for optimal results. If you have any specific health concerns or conditions, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized dosage recommendations.
For reference, a typical 1,000-mg fish oil softgel generally contains about 250 mg of combined EPA and DHA, while one teaspoon (5 ml) of liquid fish oil packs in around 1,300 mg. According to the European Food Safety Authority, omega-3 fatty acid supplements can be safely consumed at doses up to 5,000 mg daily.
While fish oil is generally safe for most individuals when taken in recommended doses, it’s important to be aware of potential risks and side effects.
The most commonly reported side effects include gastrointestinal issues such as fishy aftertaste, bad breath, indigestion, nausea, or loose stools. These symptoms can often be minimized by taking the supplement with a meal or switching to enteric-coated capsules that help prevent burping up the taste of fish.
If you have a known allergy or hypersensitivity to fish or seafood, it is advisable to avoid fish oil supplements. It may trigger allergic reactions such as itching, hives, swelling, or even anaphylaxis in severe cases.
It’s important to note that fish oil has blood-thinning properties and may increase the risk of bleeding in individuals with bleeding disorders or those taking blood-thinning medications.
For vegans and other individuals who want a direct source of EPA and DHA without consuming fish, algal oil supplements are a viable option.
Plant-based foods with omega-3s, such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, contain ALA, and not the EPA and DHA your body needs. While ALA can be converted to EPA and DHA in the body, the process is remarkably inefficient. One estimate is that only 0.5% is converted.
Lastly, avoid overdosing on fish oil, as it can cause gastrointestinal discomfort and increase the risk of bleeding.
As always, this video is educational and does not constitute medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider about any changes to your health regimen.
I hope you enjoyed this video. Check out our recommenced fish oil supplement by clicking the link below.