6 Reasons to Start Taking Fish Oil
Fish oil is a source of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats are not produced by the body and can only be obtained from food sources.
Since most people do not have a habit of eating fish on a regular basis, supplementation with fish oils has become quite common.
Not all oils are created equal, though. There are two main types that provide different benefits to the body: EPA and DHA. Both are essential for brain development, improved heart health, and more.
With these potential capabilities in mind, let’s take a look at 6 reasons you should start taking fish oil supplements daily.
1. Fish Oil Can Lower Blood Pressure
One of the most well-known fish oil benefits is that it’s been shown to be effective in lowering blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
When taking fish oil supplements, the blood vessels dilate and subsequently allow more blood to flow through, resulting in lower blood pressure. If you are taking blood pressure medication, however, it is still recommended that you consult with your doctor before taking fish oil.
It is possible that the blood pressure-lowering effects of fish oil can counteract the effects of the medication. Due to this risk potential, you should always check with your medical provider before making any changes to your medication schedule.
2. Fish Oil Can Benefit Your Brain Function
As we age, the fatty acids that our brain is made of start to decrease. Supplementation with fish oil has been shown to slow down this process and even increase the amount of fatty acids in the brain.
Fish oil contains a type of fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA for short. DHA is a precursor to a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine which is responsible for cognitive functions like attention, focus, and memory.
When we are young, the amount of DHA in the brain is high, but it slowly declines with age.
Numerous studies have shown that supplementation with fish oil can increase DHA in the brain and improve cognitive function in the process.
3. Fish Oil Supports Healthy Skin
Like our brain, our skin is also made up of fatty acids. As we age, the amount of fatty acids in our skin decreases. Supplementing fish oil has been shown to increase fatty acids in the skin due to the fact that it is rich in a specific fatty acid called eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA.
Fish oil supplements can benefit your skin in a number of ways, including:
- Improve the texture and firmness of the skin
- Reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
- Improve hydration
- Reduce the amount of oil produced by the skin
If you suffer from acne or other skin conditions, fish oil might provide the benefits needed to restore your skin and reduce unwanted blemishes.
4. Fish Oil May Help with Eye Health
Fish oil has been shown to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a leading cause of visual impairment among people over the age of 50.
Since fish oil contains the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, it’s believed to reduce the risk of macular degeneration significantly when taken as a supplement. DHA is also responsible for keeping the eyes healthy by promoting the growth of new neurons in the retina.
5. Fish Oil Can Reduce Inflammation
As we get older, the amount of inflammation in our body increases due to stress and poor nutrition. Fish oil has been shown to reduce the amount of inflammation in the body by inhibiting the enzyme that promotes inflammation.
When inflammation is under control, we are much less likely to develop chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
Fish oil can be especially beneficial for people with autoimmune diseases as it has been shown to reduce the amount of inflammation in the body. In turn, it can reduce the symptoms of diseases like Crohn’s disease, eczema, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
6. Fish Oil Might Reduce Depression
Depression is a mental illness that affects millions of people worldwide. A couple of studies have shown that supplementation with fish oil may reduce the symptoms of depression. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can be converted into a substance called serotonin which is responsible for regulating mood.
Serotonin can also cross the blood-brain barrier, which means that it can act on the brain. Fish oil has also been shown to improve the amount of serotonin metabolites in the blood.
It is possible that the combination of these two mechanisms can lead to reduced symptoms of depression.
While further studies are needed to determine the long-term effects of taking fish oil, it is clear that there are many potential benefits to taking this supplement.
If you are looking for a way to improve your overall health, fish oil may be a good option for you.
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