Fish Oil Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

Fish Oil Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

‘Contains Omega-3 fatty acids’ is something you’ve surely read when looking into ingredients in packaged food, but what is it? We will answer that for you while talking about fish oil benefits because that’s the main source to this.

Liver and body oil that comes from fishes are great sources of omega-3 acids. They are the best cure of conditions such as the dysfunctional immune system, burning, tender joints and more. It contains high quantities of Vitamin A which makes it a good antioxidant and Vitamin D that helps maintain healthier joints. The oil is extracted from the tissues of fatty fishes like salmon, sprat, sardines, and mackerel,

When it comes to fish liver oil, it is extracted by compressing cooked liver of bigger fishes such as shark, halibut and cod. You will get fish liver oil as well as fish oil easily in retail stores or online. Here, we will quickly discuss facts about fish oil and the benefits you get from it.

Some interesting facts about fish oil

Before moving onto fish oil benefits, know some more reasons why fishes are a great addition to your daily diet:

  • Fishes such as salmon, mackerel and tuna all contain rich portions of omega-3 fatty acids. Oil capsules are available in the market and they act as great supplements for people who cannot eat fish otherwise.
  • Triglycerides are a type of rare fat in the blood. Fishes contain EPA and DHA which can reduce such fat from your body. Consume at least 4-5 grams of these two components for better health.
  • The secondary food items that are rich in Omega-3 acids are walnuts and livers. The acid in walnuts is known as ALA which can break into smaller particles of EPA and DHA.
  • Most creatures of the shrimp family are known to have high sources of Omega-3 acids.
  • You can eat at least 70z of fish in a week and even more if the types you consume do not contain high levels of mercury. You can get all the fish oil benefits from fishes such as light tuna, shrimps, catfish, pollock, and salmon
  • Tuna is the safest fish to consume and is high in nutrients. On the other hand, fishes such as king mackerels and swordfish aren’t very healthy. Thus, you should consume it in limited quantities.
  • DHA is great for brain development in babies and so even pregnant women should consume fish. However, if you are pregnant make sure you don’t eat any more than 12oz of fish in a week.
  • If you are worried about burps that smell fishy due to capsules, you can freeze them and consume or swallow them with food.
  • Fish oil can prevent repeated heart disorders even if you are already a heart patient.
  • The oils can reduce triglycerides in diabetic patients too.

Fish oil capsules

Fish oil benefits and why to consume

Here is a list of some of major fish oil benefits that will make you want to have it regularly:

1. Better skin and hair

Omega-3 fatty acids enhance the production of collagen in the body. Collagen content can give you a more glowing and youthful look. It prevents dryness of the skin by helping the skin retain natural moisture. You should consume fish oil or similar supplements regularly to avoid acne problems resulting in a blemish-free and clean skin.

2. Anti-cancerous

DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid and EPA stands for eicosapentaenoic acid and both of these are the richest sources of Omega-3. Along with these two, fish oil also contains essential nutrients such as vitamins, proteins, minerals and more.

All of these combined together are highly beneficial for your health. One of the main benefits of fish oil is that it prevents cancer. Omega-3 content regulates cell-functioning and prevents the growth of tumors that can lead to cancer.

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3. Regulates cholesterol

Omega-3 is great for heart health – it controls and regulates cholesterol. Type-II diabetes is usually a result of an excessive inflammation of fat cells and tissues in the body. You can resist such inflammatory conditions easily with a limited dose of fish oil every day.

4. Healthy eyes

Fish oil is beneficial for the eyes as the fatty acids prevent eye issues. It also helps to reduce macular degeneration.

5. Regulates mental illness

You will be surprised to know that fish oil benefits include fighting aggression. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil enhance brain immunity and help in better functioning of the brain. It makes the brain adapt to adverse situations and prevents them from developing any kind of mental disorders. You can expect improved concentration, better memory and better cognitive functions of your brain. Fish oil is known to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease too.

6. Regulates ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD can affect people of any age group. The main symptoms of this disorder are hyperactivity, weak memory, dyslexia, focus issues, depression, poor attention, fickleness and coordination issues. Fish oil benefits work on all these problems and reduce its extent.

7. Controls blood pressure

Fish oil benefits include regulation of blood. The EPA and DHA particles expand blood vessels and keep blood pressure under control. They make way for smooth flowing of blood into the arteries and as a result, the pressure falls down to normal. If you suffer from even the mildest symptoms of hypertension, Omega-3 acids can help here as well. They have high anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory elements.

8. Anti-depressant

Depression is a combination of stress, sadness, tension, fatigue, anxiety and more. The Omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil helps to fight these. As per research, consuming fish oil on a regular basis can make you cheerful, happy, calm and composed.

9. Strengthens bones

Several older adults suffer from a common condition of osteoporosis or weakness in bones. Fish oil can increase bone density in the body. Omega-3 acid present in fish oil regulates the generation and function of minerals in the body along with the surrounding tissues. The bones, as a result, become stronger. Treatment of morning stiffness and acute arthritis pain are some of the other fish oil benefits.

10. Protection from type- II diabetes

Triglycerides are a rare type of fat that is found in the bloodstream of several people. Increase in the levels of triglycerides in the body may lead to several metabolism disorders including heart problems and type-II diabetes. Raw fish oil or supplementary capsules for the same regulates and helps reduce the level of such harmful fat in the blood.

11. Helpful during pregnancy

You need an adequate amount of DHA during pregnancy and that too comes from fish oil. It helps to develop the brain and eyes of the baby. This component is an essential element for the structural development of the brain, retina, and skin even for adults. Consumption of fish oil will surely prove to be beneficial for the overall health of a fetus.

12. Anti-inflammatory

The natural cooling elements present in Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce chronic inflammatory disorders. Consuming supplements of fish oil can regulate acid reflux, in turn, prevent gastrointestinal problems. The other benefits from the cooling elements include eradication of bowel disorders.

13. Helps in weight loss

If your BMI or Body Mass Index goes above the score of 30, you are considered obese. Obesity has become a common disorder globally due to unhealthy lifestyle and junk food habits. This can lead to other major diseases such as type-II diabetes, heart problems, and even cancer. Fish oil removes symptoms of heart disorders in obese people and if you combine a dose of fish oil along with a healthy diet, it helps to lose weight.

14. Healthy liver

You must have heard of NAFLD already as the rates are increasing at an increased pace already. NAFLD stands for the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which leads to the accumulation of excessive fats in the liver. This can be very painful and frustrating. Fish oil can eradicate liver problems and regulate healthier functioning of the liver.

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15. Reduces asthma

A severe breathing problem or swelling in your lungs can be symptoms of asthma. This is becoming a common problem in infants nowadays. Fish oil is reportedly a great cure for such symptoms in early life. If you are pregnant, you should consume fish oil or fish oil supplements as it acts as an anti-allergen for the fetus inside the womb.

16. Hyperactivity

A lot of kids are extremely hyperactive and this leads to focus and attention problems. It is also a kind of mental disorder, if not checked from the initial stage. Fish oil can regulate such symptoms and make the child more focused and composed.

Side-effects of fish oil

Now that you already know the fish oil benefits, it is important that you should also be aware of the lesser-known side-effects of it too. These will give you reasons to consume fishes at a moderate level or choose the right fishes instead of unhealthy ones:

1. Increases blood sugar

As per expert research and several medical reports, fish oil benefits are only limited until preventing type II diabetes. When it comes to blood sugar, fish oil has all the adverse effects. It is proven that a mere 3 grams of fish oil can increase up to 22% of glucose levels in the body. You can well imagine what can happen to a person already suffering from blood sugar if he consumes fish oil daily.

2. Bleeding

Fish oil is undoubtedly beneficial only if you consume it in a limited quantity. A lot of people are unaware of the correct dosage of fish oil. Excessive Omega-3 fatty acids can lead to severe nose and gum bleeding. However, there is a conflict still raging between two schools of thoughts.

Here, one report says fish oil actually reduces bleeding. On the other hand, another report suggests that even 5 grams of fish oil every day over a period of a month can result in bleeding. We recommend you to consult a doctor and then decide the amount of fish you should consume.

3. Low blood pressure

This is one more problem that occurs only because some of you consume fish oil or supplements without knowing the correct dosage. Fish oil naturally reduces blood pressure but overconsumption can lead to excessive blood pressure fall.

4. Diarrhea

Bowel syndromes such as diarrhea and indigestion problems such as flatulence are common side-effects of fish oil. Some people make the mistake of replacing fish oil with flaxseed oil. However, the latter causes excessive laxative effects in the body. You should rather consider dosage patterns and measurements to prevent such problems.

5. Acid Reflux

Fish oil is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids which is also a healthy type of fat. However, overconsumption of fish oil or fatty fishes can lead to acid reflux rather than preventing it. This is because any kind of fat can heat up the body if taken in larger quantities. Thus, excessive fatty acids may lead to severe acid reflux and heartburns in turn.

6. Stroke

Experiments performed on animals have proved that an overdose of Omega-3 fatty acids restricts proper blood clotting. This may result in severe conditions such as hemorrhagic strokes. This condition is mainly triggered by internal bleeding of the brain which is a sign of damaged blood vessels. Hence, fish oil can be harmful if consumed more than required as it contains high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids.

7. Insomnia

When on one hand, a limited intake of fish oil helps you to sleep better, on the other hand, it can cause insomnia if the intake is excessive. Even 600 mg of fish oil consumed regularly for about 4-5 months have caused serious insomnia in both kids and adults.

Final thoughts

Fish oil benefits and side effects go hand in hand. You need to understand how much are you allowed to consume and why. It is best to consult a nutritionist to know what types of fishes you should have. They will be able to guide you, keep you away from side effects, and also add the necessary level of Omega-3 in your body.

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