Fish Oil 101

fishWhat is Fish Oil? Why is it important for YOU to supplement?! Well, fish oil usually comes from oily fish like tuna, mackerel etc. occasionally it is manufactured from the livers of fish. The average person should consume at least 1-2 portions of fish a week, which is due to the many health benefits that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish provide you. Maybe you don’t like fish or aren’t able to eat it that often… Well, fish oil supplementation allows you to get the same health benefits as you would if you have eaten a fish.

The typical fish oil supplements you can buy at the store, are made up of about 30% fish oil and the rest contain vitamins A or D and unprocessed fish oil. There are two main omega-3’s in fish oil, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

The benefits of fish oil have been studied and researched and have been found to offer many health benefits such as:

Heart Health

Help Treat Certain Mental Disorders

Eye Health

Pregnancy

Numerous other Benefits

Fish oil can increase your levels of HDL (good) cholesterol even though it hasn’t been found to reduce your levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. It can help lower your triglycerides up to 30% and reduce blood pressure (1). While it has been shown that fish oil can help reduce some of the risks that are commonly associated with heart disease. There hasn’t been any evidence which has shown that it can prevent heart attacks or strokes from happening.

It can help treat certain mental disorders, reducing the symptoms that are associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders (2). Your brain is made up of about 60% fat and guesssss what!!! Most of that fat is omega-3 fatty acids, making it extremely important for your brain to have ample amounts of them so you can have normal brain function.

Your eyes like the brain are also similarly made up of omega-3 fats and evidence has shown that people who do not get enough omega-3 fats are at a higher risk of eye diseases. A study was done, which participants who consumed a high dose of fish oil for a four-month period had improved vision in all age-related macular degeneration participants. It’s not totally clear if fish oil will prevent eye diseases entirely, but it has been shown that it possibly may aid in prevention.

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, omega-3s are essential in early growth and development for babies (3). Mothers that supplement fish oil during these periods may improve the hand and eye coordination of their babies and might improve visual development. This stems from the fact as was stated earlier your brain and eyes are largely made up of omega-3 fatty acids.

The WHO recommends that your daily intake of fish oil range from 0.2-0.5 grams, but you can increase the dosage if you are pregnant, nursing or at risk of heart disease. Ideally, you want to choose a fish oil supplement that can provide you around 0.3 grams (300mg) of EPA and DHA per serving.

So, get out there, get some fish oil supplements and start adding them to your daily routine! The benefits are endless and I would highly suggest you do your own research if you need any more reasons for you to add them to your diet!

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