Of all dietary supplements, fish oil is the one that is consumed more often. This is because of the presence of omega 3 fatty acids, which play an important role in promoting proper health. In case your diet does not contain lots of oily fish, fish oil supplements would help you get the right amount of omega 3 fatty acids. The following is a guide to some of the health benefits you will get from fish oil supplements:
What is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is obtained from fish tissue. It is obtained from oily fish like mackerel, anchovies, tuna, and herring. In some fish, it can be obtained from their livers, hence products like cod liver oil. According to the WHO, you should have at least one or two portions of fish every week. This way, the omega 3 fatty acids can protect you against diseases and provide many other benefits.
If like most people today, you cannot maintain at least one or two portions of fish on a weekly basis, you can consider getting fish oil supplements to provide sufficient omega 3 for your body. The composition of the fish oil is 30% omega 3 fatty acids, and 70% other fats. It is also important to note that unprocessed fish oil has Vitamin A and Vitamin D.
Just in case you are wondering, the omega 3 that is found in fish oils (docosahexaenoic acid – DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid - EPA) provide better health benefits than the omega 3 that is available in plant sources (alpha-linolenic acid - ALA). ALA might be one of the important and essential fatty acids, but DHA and EPA are more beneficial to the body.
One of the other reasons why you need to get sufficient quantity of omega 3 is because most of the diets that we keep today have replaced omega 3 with omega 6, thereby affecting the balanced ratio that the body needs, hence an increase in the number of lifestyle diseases people struggle with each day.
The following are some of the health benefits you will enjoy when you include the right fish oil in your diet:
Can Be Good for Heart Health
One of the leading causes of death all over the world is heart disease. According to relevant studies in heart health, individuals who eat lots of fish have a relatively lower risk of heart disease. There are several risk factors that could advance into heart disease or failure, most of which can be avoided by eating fish or fish oil.
For a healthy heart, the following are some of the benefits that you will get from fish oil:
Reduces fatal arrhythmia - Consuming fish can help in reducing the occurrence of fatal arrhythmia. Arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm, which in most cases can cause a heart attack.
Plaques - Fish oil is useful in preventing the formation of plaque in arteries. Plaques can make the arteries harden. For individuals who already have arterial plaques, fish oil will make them stable
Blood pressure - Fish oil, when taken even in the smallest dose, goes a long way in reducing blood pressure for people who have high blood pressure.
Triglycerides - Fish oil is known to reduce triglycerides by up to 30%
Cholesterol - While fish oil might not affect bad cholesterol (LDL), it increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood, which helps to even out the bad cholesterol in the long run.
Supplementing your diet with fish oil might help in preventing or improving most of the heart disease risk factors. However, there is no clear evidence that fish oil supplements can prevent stroke or heart attack.
May Help Treat Certain Mental Disorders
The composition of the brain is close to 60% fat, the bulk of which are omega 3 fatty acids. On this evidence, omega 3 fatty acids are important to ensure proper brain functions. There are studies that have shown individuals with mental disorders have a deficiency of omega 3 in the blood. The onset of some mental disorders can be delayed or prevented by supplementing the diet with omega 3. In fact, individuals with some mental problems can improve these by using omega 3 supplements.
People who are at risk of the psychotic disorder can reduce this risk by using omega 3 supplements. People who have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia can also reduce the symptoms by using fish oil supplements.
Helps Reduce Weight and Waist Circumference
You are considered obese if your body mass index (BMI) is more than 30. Statistically speaking, more than 39% of the adult population is overweight. 13% of this number struggle with obesity. In high-income countries, the statistics paint an even worse picture.
Being obese increases the risk of diseases like cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart failure. Supplementing with fish oil, however, can help you improve the composition of your body, and reduce the risk factors for heart disease if you are already obese.
Weight loss is one of the other benefits of using fish oil either as a supplement or in your diet, alongside an effective exercise routine. There is still significant research being done on this subject, however. There are studies that revealed that while fish oil supplements might not help with significant weight loss, they can help in reducing the waist to hip ratio and the waist circumference.
May Support Eye Health
The structure of the eye contains omega 3, just as is the case with the brain. Research has proven in the past that individuals whose diet lack sufficient quantity of omega 3 will struggle with eye diseases especially as they get older.
Naturally, the older you get, the poorer your eyesight gets. This is also linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Fish is one of the ingredients in your diet that can help in preventing AMD. However, studies on supplementing the diet with fish oil are still inconclusive.
A study revealed improved vision in AMD patients who had been given large doses of fish oil for 4 ½ months. While this was a small study, there have been studies into the effect of nutrients and omega 3 fatty acids on AMD.
May Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is usually a sign that the body is fighting an infection or treating an injury. There is also the risk of inflammation happening over a long period but at low levels. In fact, in most people, this barely even affects their normal activities.
When you have chronic problems like depression, diabetes, obesity or heart disease, it can be worse. An easy way of treating symptoms of such diseases would be to reduce inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil can help in treating some of these diseases. People who are obese and stressed, for example, can experience a reduction in cytokines.
Fish oil supplements have also been known to reduce dependency on medication for people who have arthritis. It also reduces stiffness and joint pain. Inflammation can make things worse for you if you have inflammatory bowel disease. There is, however, no clear evidence on the impact that fish oil has on inflammatory bowel disease.
May Have Skin Benefits
The largest organ in the body is your skin. The skin also has a lot of omega 3 fatty acids. Over time, skin health deteriorates, as a result of the conditions we live through, and the environment. Too much exposure to the sun and old age are just some of the reasons why skin health gets worse over time.
There are so many skin disorders that can be made better through fish oil supplements, including dermatitis and psoriasis. With fish oil supplements, you can maintain healthy skin.
Important During Pregnancy and Early Life
Omega 3 fatty acids are important for growth and development, especially right after birth. During pregnancy, mothers are advised to include omega 3 in their diet and keep it up while they are breastfeeding. Fish oil supplements are important in improving the baby's hand-eye coordination. There is still no concrete evidence to support an improvement in learning or IQ.
Using fish oil supplements during pregnancy and right after birth has been linked to the reduction of allergies and improving the visual development of newborn babies.
May Reduce Liver Fat
Most of the fat in the body is processed in the liver. For this reason, the liver is an important part of your weight gain or weight loss plan. Currently, there are so many people who suffer from liver disease. Most people assume that liver disease is only associated with alcohol. Non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD) is also on the rise, owing to the accumulation of fat in the liver.
Supplementing your diet with fish oil will help in improving inflammation and liver function, which work towards reducing the amount of fat in your liver, and improving the symptoms of NAFLD.
Improves Symptoms of Depression
By the year 2030, it is expected that depression will be one of the leading disease-causing agents worldwide. Individuals who suffer from depression also tend to have low omega 3 in their blood. Over the years, studies have revealed a link between omega 3 supplementation and improvement in symptoms of depression. Oils that have sufficient EPA content have also been known to help in reducing symptoms of depression, better than those that have a high content of DHA.
Improves Hyperactivity and Attention
Inattention and hyperactivity are some of the behavioral disorders that are common in children. Since omega 3 is a major component of the brain, providing sufficient amounts might help you prevent behavioral disorders in kids at such a young age.
Supplementing their diet with fish oil can also help in improving inattention, hyperactivity, aggressiveness, and impulsiveness. This is important to help them in learning at an early stage.
Improves Mental Health
Brain function naturally slows down as you grow older, and with this, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease becomes imminent. Those who have a lot of fish in their diet usually experience a lower decline in brain function as they age, compared to those who do not.
Studies on the use of fish oil supplements by senior citizens, however, are still inconclusive regarding slowing down the deterioration of brain function. That being said, there are studies that have proven that fish oil can help improve memory in older people, especially if they are healthy.
Improves Symptoms of Asthma
Asthma is a lung disorder that is characterized by short breath and swelling in the lungs. It is increasingly becoming common in children. During the infancy stage, fish oil can help reduce symptoms of asthma. This is why most parents give their children cod liver oil.
According to research, mothers who eat fish and supplement theirs and their children’s diet with omega 3 can reduce the risk of asthma by around 25%. Pregnant mothers who supplement their diet with fish oil can also lower the risk of allergies in their children.
May Improve Bone Health
As you grow old, your bones lose the important minerals, making them vulnerable to breakage. This leaves you susceptible to osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. For bone health, vitamin D and Calcium are important. However, there are studies that suggest omega 3 is just as important as these two.
Individuals whose diet has a high omega 3 intake will have a good density of bone minerals than those who do not. Therefore, omega 3 is important for your bone health. The only thing that is unclear is whether the supplements will improve your bone mineral density or not. Based on recent studies, fish oil supplements help in reducing markers for the bone breakdown, which in the long run prevent bone disease.
Omega 3 Deficiency Side Effects
Most of the health problems Americans have are related to an imbalance between omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 6 is only bad for your health when consumed in large quantities without a proportionate consumption of omega 3 to balance out the effects, which eventually lead to inflammation, and chronic illness.
An average American consumes omega 6 and omega 3 in the ration 20:1. However, the recommended and healthy ratio is 2:1. What this means is that a normal diet for most people has 14 – 25 times the number of omega 6 fatty acids than omega 3, which is not good for health reasons.
Fried foods, boxed foods, and fast foods are the most common cause of this deficiency. These foods are available in the diet of so many people, and for most people, this makes up a huge part of their daily diet. Foods that have cottonseed, sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil and soybean oil are high in omega 6 fatty acids. If you overeat any of these, your body's ability to metabolize omega 3 fatty acids are affected.
According to recent research, a low ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 is important in reducing your risk exposure to most of the common chronic diseases. You should, therefore, try and make sure you can achieve a healthy balance of these fatty acids. This will help you in fighting a host of inflammatory diseases like the following:
- Heart disease
- Autoimmune disease
That being said. However, omega 6 fatty acids are not bad for your health. You need to make sure you do not consume too much without sufficient intake of omega 3, or this will affect the performance of your immune system. What you need to do is make sure you keep a good balance between the two.
Based on research findings, the omega 3 that is found in fish oil provides more benefits to the body than the omega 3 that is found in flax oil. Flax oil contains omega 3 in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), while fish oil contains DHA/EPA.
Should You Supplement with Omega-3 Fats?
Unless you have an imperfect diet, or if you are working out, nursing, pregnant, consuming a diet that is loaded with processed foods, or any other health problem, you do not need to supplement with omega 3 fats.
The healthiest option for you is to get omega 3 fats from fish sources. The only challenge here is that most of the fish that is available in the market at the moment is either contaminated in some way or farmed. Professionals might know how to handle such fish. However, this is not the case for everyone, especially those who do not know much about fish.
Supplementing Your Diet with Fish Oil
How do you know you need to supplement your diet with fish oil? Review your diet. If you do not have at least one oily fish portion a week in your diet, you should strongly think about using fish oil supplements.
There are so many good fish oil supplements available on Amazon, complete with amazing customer reviews from thousands of users. The following are some of the things you need to think about when choosing your preferred supplement:
The supplement must have a certificate of sustainability. This is available from the Environmental Defense Fund or the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Fish oil that is produced from anchovies and other smaller fish is more sustainable than fish oil that is produced from larger fish.
The WHO recommended dose for DHA and EPA depends on your current state of health and your age. You need to consume 0.2 – 0.5 grams of DHA and EPA daily. However, in case you are struggling with heart disease, are pregnant or nursing, you should increase your dose. You need a supplement that guarantees you at least 300mg of DHA and EPA in each serving.
Omega-3 fatty acids have a high chance of becoming rancid when they are exposed to oxidation agents. Because of this, it is important that you choose a supplement that contains antioxidants like Vitamin E.
You should also make sure you keep your fish oil away from direct light, probably in the refrigerator. If you notice the fish oil has a rancid smell, or the expiry date has passed, do not use it.
Some of the fish oil supplements do not really contain what is written in the ingredients. To stay safe from such, it is always wise to choose a product that has been third-party tested or one that has the GOED purity standard.
Majority of the supplements might have around 1000mg of fish oil in each serving, but only 300mg of DHA and EPA in the same serving. Pay attention to the label, and make sure you get a supplement that has no less than 500mg of DHA and EPA for every 1000mg of fish oil.
There are different forms within which you can find fish oil, including phospholipids, free fatty acids, reformed triglycerides, triglycerides and ethyl esters. Of these forms, the body does not absorb ethyl esters better than the other forms, so it is wise to choose a supplement that is available in the rest of the other forms.
The absorption of omega-3 fatty acids is only possible with the help of other dietary fats. For this reason, it is advisable to consume your fish oil supplements with meals that have fat.
The Ideal Omega Fats Ratio
Before we get into this, it is wise to mention that omega 9 and omega 6 fats are not bad for your health, especially if you consume them in the correct amount. It is only when you consume too much of either, without complementing this with the right amount of omega 3 that they become a problem.
The diets that most people keep contain omega 6 14 – 25 times the amount of omega 3 that they consume. This is not healthy since the recommended ratio should be 2:1. If you do not achieve this balance, you will be increasing the risk of inflammatory problems, which eventually negates the role of omega 3 in the body. This particularly applies to those who are on a Paleo or Keto diet. Consuming more omega 3 than omega 6 fatty acids will suppress the risk of inflammation, and help you enjoy the benefits of omega 3.
How to Achieve the Omega 3-6-9 Ratio Balance
You must first reduce your intake of processed foods, and stay away from soybean oils, cottonseed, corn, canola and hydrogenated oil
Reduce oxidation when using sesame oil or olive oil by cooking on low heat
Substitute vegetable oil with coconut oil in case your diet contains a lot of omega-6 fats
Use grass-fed butter instead of whichever butter you have been using, because it has a high content of omega-3 fats
Try to eat only good fats, while balancing the omega-3 ratio
Include fish or fish oil supplements in your diet as often as you can.
Coconut oil is good for cooking. Coconut has a lot of benefits for your body. If you use this oil for cooking, there are so many benefits that you will reap, though it is still deficient in omega-3. In case you are hugely dependent on flax seeds or chia to get omega-3 fats, you will only be using around 8%, which is not sufficient for your body. To meet your quota, you would need to eat lots of chia seeds, possibly a truckload.
If nuts are your source of healthy fats, your body is consuming up to 22 times the omega-6 fats as you are consuming omega-3 fats. In case plants make up most of your diet, you will only be getting omega-3 fats in trace quantities.
It is good to learn the different sources of omega-3 fats so that you can keep a healthy diet. Individuals who keep an omega-3 diet and add a fish oil supplement to their diet from time to time barely have to worry about a thing.
Did You Know?
Fish oil can go rancid
DHA and EPA are unsaturated fats. When they are exposed to oxygen, light, and heat, they oxidize. This can happen either in the course of the production process or even after the oil has been packaged and shipped to your nearest store. Improper handling might also lead to this, or if it has been stored for a long time.
Owing to the molecular structure, fish oil is one of the most vulnerable to oxidation, and this is why you usually find most of the supplements available in opaque or dark brown bottles. If you find any fish oil supplement that is available in a clear bottle, do not buy it.
The problem with oxidation does not end at being less effective or going stale; the fish oil turns from a useful, healthy substance into something harmful, something that might end up causing diseases that you were trying to fight in the first place.
Rancid fish oil, just like rancid cooking oil, increases inflammation. This is why you must make sure you are consuming fish oil that has been tested for cleanliness, purity, quality and you can see the expiry date clearly labeled.
Fish oils are not the same
Eating fish is one of the simplest ways of getting omega-3. However, the issue at hand is whether or not you get the same effect as someone who would get omega-3 from fish supplements.
Something that is important to the normal cell and body functions should have clinical benefits, thought this must still be proven beyond doubt. At the same time, there are lots of claims that this is useful in a lot of instances, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. What is important at this juncture is getting results from clinical trials, to prove these hypotheses – Dr. Preston Mason, Harvard University
DHA and EPA play different roles in the body. DHA helps with nerve function and the brain, while EPA helps in fighting inflammation and reducing the level of cholesterol in the body. However, the body needs both DHA and EPA to perform properly.
Fish alone can give you omega 3
A lot of experts in the industry content that getting the nutrients you need from whole foods is better than through vitamins. This is true for all nutrients. The body absorbs them better when consumed as food because that is what the body is built to process. This also explains why the body processes and absorbs omega 3 from whole fish better than omega 3 from fish oil capsules.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, oily cold-water fish is the best way to go, especially if you can eat it 2 – 3 times a week. He further recommends mackerel, black cod, herring, sardines, and salmon. Together with just the right amount of omega 6, this should be sufficient for most people to live a healthy life and enjoy the benefits of omega 3.
However, while this might be the case, getting all your omega 3 fatty acids from whole fish might not be a good idea. This is because of the presence of contaminants in the fish, like mercury. Besides, some people simply do not like fish. When you consider the financial aspect, buying all the fish you need to get the required dose of omega 3 each week might also be too expensive in the long run.
You can get omega 3 from plants
For those who do not eat animal proteins, plants can also be a good source of omega 3. Some plants you might want to include in your diet include seaweed, beans, seeds, cabbages (Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli), spices and berries. Chia seeds and flax seeds are also a good option. For vegetarians, you can get omega 3 supplements prepared from seeds with a high content of omega 3 or algae.
Improve absorption by taking your meals with fish oil
According to most experts, the body absorbs fish oil better when taken with a meal. In fact, you should take it with some protein. This is because the protein will act as an emulsifier, thereby making it easier for the body to absorb fish oil. Your meal does not necessarily have to be high in fat content. As long as you have some carbohydrates and protein, you should be okay.
Labdoor further asserts that this should not be eaten before you start your exercise routine. The time of the day when you take it does not affect though. If you have a supplement size requirement of two servings, you can take them in the morning and evening, or take them all at once in the morning. For consistency, you can take your serving at once.
You can also take too much fish oil
Too much of a good thing can be dangerous, and the same applies to fish oil. It is possible to take too much of it. Even with some of the best supplements in the market, an overdose will interfere with the normal functions of your body.
The reason why you should keep tabs on your fish oil intake is that fish oil is a blood thinner, just like aspirin. For this reason, therefore, fish oil is ideal for reducing your risk of heart disease and lowering your blood pressure. Consuming too much fish oil will lengthen the bleeding time. Therefore, in case you get in an accident of some sort and sustain cuts and bruises, you might end up bleeding like someone who has been popping some aspirin.
You might experience this when your daily dose exceeds 6 grams or three servings of Nutrigold Triple Strength Fish Oil Omega-3 Gold. In case you have been using anticoagulants to keep stroke and blood clots in check, you should consult your doctor about the amount of fish oil that is proper for your condition.
Get a blood test
According to the National Institute of Health, the majority of Americans eat more omega-6 than omega-3. Therefore, it is obvious that most people would benefit from an increase in their intake of Omega-3. However, at the same time, there are people who have a near perfect ratio of omega-6 and omega-3. This includes health conscious people or those who are keen on their intake of omega-6 foods. It is also possible to have a deficiency of omega-6. The easiest way to determine this is to visit your doctor and have them run tests or a simple finger prick kit at home.
Eat lower on the food chain
Fish are different. Their level of toxicity also depends on the environment where they are found. Let's take the example of a small fish with low mercury level. A relatively larger fish that feeds on the small fish every day will end up with high mercury content. The same is true for the bigger fish that will eat this one. This form of toxin stuffing is referred to as biomagnification. The problem with biomagnification is that it goes on further up the food chain, up to our plates.
According to Abrams, sardines provide good levels of Omega-3. Since they usually rank lowest in the food chain, their level of toxicity is very low, so the risk of biomagnification is much lower here. Besides, sardines are more sustainable than most of the other fish products you can come across – Dr. Michael Murray, Product Science and Innovation Director, Natural Factors. Dr. Murray also practices natural medicine.
How to Get Omega-3 Benefits From Your Diet
When talking about heart health, the focus is usually on the entire body. This is because health is a holistic concept. When discussing the benefits of omega-3, it is important to consider your diet in general. There are ingredients and foods that help your body process omega-3 better. Since your diet should be balanced, including omega-3 in the right quantities alongside other nutrients is the easiest way to make sure your nutrient intake helps your body.
This is one of the most important facts that the body needs. Even with an omega-3-rich diet, you will still need to make sure you keep a balanced ratio for different fats, which will keep your heart healthy. Learn about the foods you should eat and the ones you should avoid so that you can maintain a good balance between other fats and omega-3.
There are foods that make it difficult for your body to process omega-3. Even if you consume sufficient amounts of omega-3, these foods will inhibit the ability of your body to get the most utility out of omega-3.
One diet that includes the best source of omega-3 is the Pan-Asian Modified Mediterranean diet. For people who have high blood pressure, this can help you manage your condition better.
Without using animal sources or natural fish oil supplements, vegetarians are still able to enjoy the benefits of omega-3. The challenge that most vegetarians have is that they are never aware of the nutrients that they are missing. You will learn about some of the nutrients that you lack in your vegetarian diet and the types of food that you should include to enjoy the benefits of omega-3.
Our Number One Recommended Product
Omega-3 fatty acids might play an important role in human longevity and health, but they are not produced naturally in the human body. For this reason, therefore, we must get them from the diet. While fish is a good source of Omega-3, you can never consume sufficient amounts of fish to give you the Omega-3 fatty acids you need. Besides, too much consumption of fish only increases the risk of ingesting toxic components that some of them might have.
Purity Labs Oil supplements have the perfect amount of omega 3, better than most of the other supplements that you might come across. For a 3000mg serving of fish oil, you get 630mg of DHA and 915mg of EPA, which helps in improving the balance of omega 6 and omega 3 in the body.
Safety is always a priority for Purity Labs, and this is why they take extra precaution during the distillation process by using hexane-free molecular distillation. This is to ensure that there are no additives used in the end product.
Hundreds of thousands of people today appreciate the Omega-3 fish oil from Purity Labs, because of the potency and freshness of their products. This comes down to the best manufacturing processes in the industry, and the fact that they only use natural products and ingredients like Tocopherols and rosemary extract. Other companies use artificial preservatives to achieve the same level of potency and freshness.
Purity Labs is your reliable partner in achieving better health. The ingredients used are of the highest quality, and the third party testing methods are stringent, to make sure that you get only the best and potent formulation in the bottles you buy.
When you purchase anything from Purity Labs, what you see on the label is what you will get in the bottle per serving. The supplements used are sourced from the US and meet the highest standards for safety and quality. Purity Labs takes care of your family at different levels through high quality, innovative products. They also make sure they select partners to work with, who share the same philosophy as they do, about powerful formula in the bottles that you find in the market.