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If there is one extensively available, cost effective and easily digestible dietary supplement suitable for the intake of all age groups, it is fish oil. From young children to pregnant ladies to old and ailing individuals, everyone can reap some or other crucial health benefit from the monitored and moderate consumption of fish oil. Popular across all the continents of the world, fish oil can either be consumed as food through the inclusion of fatty fishes in your daily diet plan or by taking a physician approved dose of fish oil capsules along with regular meals.
What makes fish oil so widely accepted as an important nutritional supplement is its rich Omega-3 fatty acid content. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for preventing a number of diseases and vitalizing the body from within. In fact, a recent study conducted by Harvard University has found a deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acids to be one among the ten prime reasons of death in the United States. No wonder then that fish oil, a source of two major variants of Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, is vital for your fitness endeavours. Here is a list of 25 ways in which fish oil benefits your health from birth till old age.
1. Keeps the Heart Healthy: Heart, the incessant employee of your body, deserves a little bit of extra care and few foods or supplements are as beneficial in this regard as fish oil. It increases the levels of ‘good’ cholesterol or HDL with great efficiency. Also, it reduces the presence of harmful triglycerides by approximate 15%-20%. Plus, it hinders plaque formation inside arteries, aiding blood flow at the usual pace. In these ways fish oil wards off a number of CADs like heart attacks, diseases and congestive failure of the heart. Fish oil also has the ability to forestall abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmia.
2. Helps in Significant Weight Loss: According to the results of a detailed study that Professor Peter Howe of the University of South Australia conducted along with some of his colleagues, fish oil can bring a noticeable change in body weight if combined with exercise. Their research shows that the Omega-3 fatty acid in fish oil boosts metabolism, enhancing the effectiveness of exercise regimens in burning more calories, consequentially reducing weight at a faster rate. It is especially efficient in curbing down the waist circumference and hip to waist ratio.
3. Upgrades Immunity Level: By nourishing the body with adequate amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids fish oil naturally makes our body stronger and more immune to common germs. The Omega-3 fatty acids promote cytokines and eicosanoid activities, improving the immunity system. Thus, if fish oil is ingested on a regular basis, it might help in preventing some of the basic health problems that plagues us from time to time such as flu, cold and cough. Fish oil can also prove to be considered effective in case of autoimmune diseases like Lupus which damages organs and tissues.
4. Lowers Impact of Inflammation and Inflammatory Diseases: Fish oil has been found to be effective in decreasing inflammation, disrupting normal tissue and blood functionalities. A huge number of people suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases including Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD, short bowel syndrome, Celiac disease, ulcerative colitis and gastrointestinal disorder. These painful diseases can bring life to a standstill. Moderate yet regular intake of fish oil supplements may relieve patients from the distressing symptoms. Fish oil can also reduce the percentage of leukotriene accumulation inside the colon to rid patients of Ulcerative colitis, which is a common inflammatory affliction these days.
5. Maintains Eye Health: Since Omega-3 fatty acid is a constructive part of human eyes; fish oil consumption can be helpful in maintaining the health of our visual organs. Near sightedness can be prevented in children by giving them fish oil capsules every day. Macular degeneration which is a common problem among elderly people can also be halted if fish oil is taken in regular doses.
6. Supports Cancer Treatments: One of the biggest problems that ensue from cancer treatments such as chemotherapy is excessive and uncontrolled weight loss, making the patient so feeble that they cannot sustain further treatments. In case of pancreatic cancer, the patient loses weight fast, making it impossible to start chemo. Fish oil supplements can stop weight loss in cancer patients so that medical treatments can be continued, augmenting their survival chances. What’s more, studies show that fish oil intake can even help in enhancing muscle mass in cancer patients.
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7. Boosts Concentration and Prevents ADHD: Lack of concentration in children can very well be the reason of nightmares for parents. Inability to concentrate can surface due to lack of nutrition, especially the essential fatty acids. Fish oil supplements replenish this nutrition gap, giving the concentration level of children the required boost and enabling them to focus on any work at hand. ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder involves a set of behavioural problems in children that hamper their mental growth and social activities. By supplying Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, which is necessary for early brain development, fish oil reduces the chances of ADHD and its primary symptoms like inattention and hyperactivity. Prevention of inattention at a nascent stage improves cognitive abilities in children making them less aggressive and impulsive.
8. Aids Brain Development: Fish oil being a major source of nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acid, Omega-6 fatty acid, and DHA that are necessary for healthy development of the brain, its consumption is considered advantageous for children and breastfeeding mothers. By aiding the development of cortex and hippocampus, fish oil improves brain functionalities like thinking, cognitive senses, and memory.
9. Rules Out Alzheimer’s disease: With age, the brain becomes foggy and slowly its prowess declines. That’s why most elderly people experience a sharp dip in their memorizing efficiency. Alzheimer’s disease is more common among the aged individuals. However, many studies and researches have concluded that those who eat fish enjoy a longer span of healthy brain functionality than those who do not. The Alzheimer’s Association advice patients or those on the borderline to take fish oil for supplying the brain with necessary fatty acids as a defence tactics against dementia.
10. Counteracts Osteoarthritis and Arthritis: A study conducted in University of Bristol has come to the conclusion that Osteoarthritis symptoms can be decreased by fish oil consumption. Fish oil demolishes the enzymes which give rise to osteoarthritis. Not just Osteoarthritis, the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can efficiently counter similar conditions like arthritis, Raynaud’s disorder and rheumatism.
11. Prohibits Fat Accumulation in the Liver: Being the main digestive organ, liver plays a critical role in our overall health. Sometimes eating excessive amounts of sugary and oily junk foods leads to fat storage in the liver. Fish liver supplements have proved their worth in cutting down fat accumulation in the liver and remarkably reducing the effects of NAFLD.
12. Regulates Blood Pressure Levels: High blood pressure level over a long stretch of time affects the normal functionality of the heart, raising chances of severe heart problems, even heart attack. People with high blood pressure may also experience a number of physical inconveniences such as blurred vision, dizziness, ear block, headache and inability to take deep breaths. Fish oil is an invaluable supplement in regulating and normalizing blood pressure level over a period of time.
13. Curbs Anxiety and Mental Health Problems: Stress and anxiety are two constant lifestyle partners of the urban crowds, showcased in the increasing number of people suffering from insomnia and hypertension. Results of a study published in the European Journal of Neuroscience in 2013 proclaimed that fish oils are effective in elevating anxiety. Omega-3 fatty acids being integral to brain functionalities, fish oil consumption can prevent a number of mental disorders. Its supplements are believed to be beneficial in subsiding depression and associated symptoms. Even critical mental health problems like bipolar disorders and schizophrenia can be subdued with physician approved doses of fish oil.
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14. Controls Diabetes: Fish oil has shown its mettle in controlling both Type-I and Type-II diabetes. In the last decade diabetes affliction has taken an epidemic proportion. By curbing the amount of triglyceride and improving metabolism, fish oil increases the effectiveness of diabetes medications, reducing blood sugar levels.
15. Promotes Fertility: Unhealthy lifestyle and excessive amounts of stress often translate into a drop in the sperm count, ensuring a chain of complicated fertility issues. Researchers have found that those who keep fish in their diet chart have a higher sperm count. Fertility problems can be reversed with the help of fish oil consumption. The healthy fatty acids present in fish oil escalate sperm count, mending fertility problems. Not only that, the survival period of sperms inside the female genitalia, battling lipid peroxidative also gets hiked, increasing the chances of conception.
16. Improves Bone Health: Deficiency in nutrition often surfaces as bone debility. Weak bones can result in severe physical impairment and snatch away freedom of movement. Taking fish oil supplements from the time of bone development might alter the scenario. Omega-3 fatty acid is an intrinsically important element of bone development. On top of that, fish oils act as the source of vitamin-D that is the prime ingredient for bone health.
17. Stalls the Signs of Aging: Studies claim that telomere shortening, the part of our chromosome responsible for signs of aging, has a connection with fish oil or rather Omega-3 fatty acids. Higher percentage of Omega-3 fatty acid in the blood can delay telomere shortening. Those who consume fish oil enjoy longer telomeres for a prolonged period, stalling age by years.
18. Assists in Healthy Pregnancy: Fish oil supplements are ideal resource for vitamins A and D and fatty acids required for foetus development. Moderate consumption of fish oils enhances the performance of vitamin-E, which plays an important role in maintaining prenatal health. The Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in fish oil builds resistance against miscarriages and also lowers the risk of premature birth or very low birth weight of child. The DHA component of fish oil is essential for the brain and eye development of baby inside the womb. Moreover, postnatal depression too can be reduced in intensity with the intake of fish oil.
19. Reduces the Chances of Asthma and Allergies: Depreciating air quality is causing breathing troubles, including the life impairing disease asthma, even in kids. Fish oil consumption from an early age may help in averting asthma which manifests in symptoms like breathing trouble and tightness in chest. Infants can be saved from lung infections, swelling and allergies if mothers take fish oil supplements during their pregnancy.
20. Enhances Blood Circulation: By lowering DHL or ‘bad’ cholesterol levels and increasing HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol level, fish oil hinders fat storage interior of veins and arteries. Its role in reducing triglyceride, a type of fat, also helps in maintaining blood flow throughout the body.
21. Dispels Fatigue and Lethargy: Hectic lifestyle takes massive toll on our energy levels, leaving us incapacitate to pursue any hobbies or spend quality time with family. Children too feel sleepy and tired after whole day in school. Fish oil supplements have shown remarkable impact in boosting energy levels and revitalizing the body so one feels less fatigued and live a more satisfactory life.
22. Relieves Skin Problems: Who doesn’t want to have soft and supple skin? Fish oil contains EPA that supplies the skin with hydrating nourishment, reducing dryness, flakiness and itchiness. Fish oil is also assumed to soothe other skin diseases like redness, itchiness, rashes and psoriasis. Fish oil EPA promotes the production of arachidonic acid that in turn effectively heals skin diseases like eczema. Opposite pole to dryness of skin, acne and blemishes can give both teenagers and their adult counterpart sleepless nights. Keeping at least 1-2 portions of fish in weekly meals can remedy this by supplying the much-needed fish oil to your skin. Fish oil’s EPA again comes to aid in matters of acne by prohibiting androgen formation, a substance responsible for overactive sebum glands leading to oily skin and acne.
23. Nurtures Hair Health: Fish oil provides us with proteins which are imperative for hair follicle growth, preventing hair loss. It’s Omega-3 fatty acid properties help in keeping the mane healthy, shiny and nourished. Many of the common yet troubling hair health issues like dandruff and itchy scalp can be subsided through inclusion of fish oil in your diet as well.
24. Averts Ulcers: Prolonged use of some medications, especially the Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs can cause ulcers of organs. EPA and DHA fatty acids contained in fish oil may assist in reverting the ill impact of some these drugs, shielding the inner walls of digestive organs from painful ulcers.
25. Impedes Renal Problems: After heart, kidney is the second most relentlessly functioning organ we have. Fish oil capsules have shown notable improvement in the condition of diseased kidney health. It might be able to stop a dire renal disorder like Berger’s disease from occurring and in case of diabetic patients prevents protein loss through urine formation.
Harbinger of Good Health but with a Pinch of Salt
There are reasons galore for declaring fish oil to be the panacea of physical and mental fitness, but you also have to remember that the quality of fish oil depends largely on the health of fishes it is derived from. Water pollution is poisoning fishes with harmful toxic substances like mercury in many places of the world, contaminating the fish oil too in the process. The best way to make fish oil a part of your nutrition is to eat freshly captured, cold water fishes 2-3 times a week. Those who don’t eat fish may purchase fish oil capsules from trustworthy and conscientious manufacturers, with recommendations from physicians. Fish oil is easily available in local medical shops, or you can order online and get discounts using Amazon coupons and 1mg coupons. By and large, the benefits of fish oil surpass the cautionary concerns for its consumption.