Fish oil is the fat or oil that’s extracted from fish tissue.
It usually comes from oily fish, such as herring, tuna, anchovies, and mackerel. Yet it’s sometimes produced from the livers of other fish, as is the case with cod liver oil.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating 1–2 portions of fish per week. This is because the omega-3 fatty acids in fish provide many health benefits, including protection against a number of diseases.
However, if you don’t eat 1–2 servings of fish per week, fish oil supplements can help you get enough omega-3s.
Around 30% of fish oil is made up of omega-3s, while the remaining 70% is made up of other fats. What’s more, fish oil usually contains some vitamin A and D.
It’s important to note that the types of omega-3s found in fish oil have greater health benefits than the omega-3s found in some plant sources.
The main omega-3s in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), while the omega-3 in plant sources is mainly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Although ALA is an essential fatty acid, EPA and DHA have many more health benefits.
It’s also important to get enough omega-3s because the Western diet has replaced a lot of omega-3s with other fats like omega-6s. This distorted ratio of fatty acids may contribute to numerous diseases.
Nutrition Facts Of Fish Oil
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 100 g||153%|
|Saturated fat 21 g||104%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 16 g|
|Monounsaturated fat 57 g|
|Cholesterol 766 mg||255%|
|Sodium 0 mg||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 0 g||0%|
|Dietary fiber 0 g||0%|
|Protein 0 g||0%|
|Vitamin A||0%||Vitamin C||0%|
|Vitamin D||0%||Vitamin B-6||0%|
|*Per cent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.|
Types Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
1. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) – A type of omega-3 fatty acid that is commonly found in most fish, EPA acts as a predecessor to chemicals involved in blood clotting and inflammation in the body.
2. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – DHA is the main component in a human retina and also present in major amounts in other places like sperms, breast milk, and the cerebral part of the brain.
The vegetarian source of DHA comes from seaweed which can be consumed for increased benefits and a healthy brain.
3. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – This type of Omega-3 fatty acid is to your surprise, mostly contained in plant sources such as seeds and nuts, this is the basic fatty acid required for the body to function and also provides additional health benefits.
Some nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which may be converted to DHA and EPA in the body.
What are the Benefits Of Fish Oil
Fish oil which contains Omega-3 fatty acids benefits are plenty, including decreasing the risk of heart stroke, reduce symptoms of depression, hypertension, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, joint pains, arthritis, eczema, inflammation etc.
There is no specified amount of omega-3 fats defined, but some reputed health organizations specify an intake of about 250 to 500 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in adults.
The benefits go on to aiding with weight loss, pregnancy, and many more. Helping the health of many in almost every walk of life, fish oil is a must in your diet.
Benefits Of Fish Oil For Skin
Omega-3 fatty acids have shown properties to protect the skin from sun damage. Particularly the EPA’s, have been recognized to protect skin against UV rays, sunburns and sun breaks on skin, nurturing the skin from the DNA level.
Thus this shows that omega-3 fatty acids have a role in preventing our skin from skin cancer too. These oils regulate the oil production in skin to keep it hydrated at all times and prevent acne mostly.
EPA is an antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory product, this also helps in repair of skin disorders. Some of the skin problems it shows a major difference in are :
1. Is Fish Oil Good for Acne – The EPA fatty acid controls the quantity of oil that the skin produces, and this helps in managing acne prone skin.
Acne is a result of excess oil production normally, and fish oil has the perfect property to beat that excess oil production.
The omega-3 fatty acids react with the omega-6 acids in the body and reduce inflammation which in turn reduces the swelling and redness of pimples.
2. Stretch Marks – A certain changes in your diet can reduce your chances of being stretch marks prone. Eat plenty of food that is rich in zinc, such as nuts, fruits, seeds, meat etc.
Most of these contain the DHA omega-3 acid which can help you be on a zinc-high diet. A combination of fish oil and primrose can also keep your skin well moisturized from the inside, preventing stretch marks.
3. Wrinkles – While every other remedy with fish oil includes the intake of fish oil or capsules, avoiding wrinkles can be a little different. Fish Oil needs to be rubbed onto the face.
This not only helps in erasing the fine lines gradually but the numerous vitamins present in it can re-hydrate your skin and not age. Avoiding wrinkles can make your skin look more youthful in the long run.
4. Dry Skin – It is a sign that your body is lacking from omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fatty acids help in keeping your cells hydrated and strong throughout, preventing the skin from flaking.
Due to increased pollution, our main source of omega-3 fats, the fish, has become a less viable source making supplements more popular in eradicating dry skin from our health profile.
An omega-3 supplement known as krill oil is supposedly equally beneficial in hydrating skin and keeping it moisturized at all times.
How to Apply Fish Oil on Face:
- Hold a fish oil capsule in between your thumb and forefinger. Make sure you hold this capsule right above a small bowl.
- Now, take a knife and slowly slit the capsule from the bottom or side, squeezing the oil from the capsule into the bowl.
- Dab cotton onto the oil in the bowl and gently rub on the face.
- Make sure the entire oil in the bowl is rubbed evenly on the face.
- Repeat this twice a day around shower time.
Fish Oil Side Effects On Skin
If bought from an unauthorized brand or some cheap fish oil, the ingredients may not be authentic giving rise to allergic reactions.
Even sometimes, some fish has too many chemicals due to how they’re bred and can pose to be dangerous if high levels of mercury exist. This can give rise to itchy reactions, allergies, and many more skin problems.
Fish oil also thins your blood which can prove to be useful unless you are already on medication to thin blood.
List of Fish Oil Health Benefits
The health benefits that fish oil offers are numerous, assisting most heart diseases, anxiety, depression, ADHD, cancer, diabetes, inflammation, arthritis, eye disorders, ulcers etc.
All benefits or most benefits are attributed to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil, which largely improves cardiovascular health if consumed at a healthy rate. People with low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the body are more likely to develop a risk of heart attacks.
1. Healthy Cholesterol
Fish Oil is high in its cholesterol content, and this in turn turns the cholesterol profile into a healthy profile within the normal range.
Ratios of HDL to LDL are maintained perfectly if a small amount of fish oil is consumed on a daily basis. Maintain your health with a healthy cholesterol level along with fresh fruits being part of your diet.
2. Bone Health
An increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids, especially the DHA is linked to more mineral content in bones and hence, making bones stronger and healthier.
As we grow older, our reserves of estrogen and progesterone hormones begin to decrease, and our bones start to lose their strength, this is when omega-3 fatty acids really come to your rescue.
3. Mood Support
Fish Oil supports the serotonin hormones in the body, which are supposed to be the ‘feel good’ hormones suppressing the depression levels making one happy.
The stress, anxiety, depression and such negative ailments are due to not enough nutrition which ignites the serotonin, but fish oil does exactly that clearing your mood swings.
4. Multiple sclerosis (MS)
While there is no conclusion to this, low levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been recorded in people with MS.
So, researches show that an increased level of omega-3 fatty acids in people can benefit their MS problem. While this isn’t a guaranteed cure, fish oil is sure to help in some way or the other.
The evidence shown was that the immune cells of MS patients who were treated with omega-3 fatty acids produced significantly lower pro-inflammatory cytokines.
5. Prostate cancer
Fish Oil doesn’t exactly help in curing prostate cancer, but definitely prevents or slows down the spread of cancer cells across the body, helping the body fight cancer. It suppresses the proliferation of cancer cells, hence not allowing it to spread throughout the body.
6. Memory benefits
The type of omega-3 fatty acids that aid in boosting memory the most is DHA. Consumption of fish oil capsules or fish every day for about 6 months showed results of improved memory.
This shows that omega-3 fatty acids have the ability to improve some mental health too. This is not in regard with the older generation where their cognitive capability declines gradually.
7. Protection from Alzheimer’s disease
Studies have proved that food rich in fish oil decreases the probability of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a memory problem in brief, and since fish oil has shown to improve memory, this disease is prevented to a large extent if consumed on a regular basis.
8. Protection from vision loss
Adequate consumption of DHA omega-3 fatty acid in your diet can protect your eyes from deteriorating, if not prevent it, at least protect it. As you age, so does your vision, and that’s where omega-3 fatty acids help your eyesight.
9. Benefits for the fetus
During pregnancy, when the mother is regular on omega-3 fatty acid capsules, it is shown that the cognitive, sensory and motor development of the baby is much better than compared to the babies of mothers who haven’t had an intake of omega-3 capsules.
10. Heart Benefits
The risk of heart attacks is largely reduced when the blood has an adequate content of omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil also reduces the stress on heart post a heart surgery. Other ailments also are backed up by fish oil as a cure.
Fish Oil Side Effects On Health
While consumption of fish oil is good, consuming large amounts of fish oil from dietary sources is unsafe.
Some fish meats along with providing fish oil, they also have huge amounts of mercury that can contaminate the body giving result to effects that have a negative impact on the body.
The possible side effects of fish oil could be dizziness, cough, increased heartbeat rate, unusual weakness or tiredness, tightness in the chest etc.
What Benefits Does Fish Oil Do for Hair?
The omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil can benefit your hair, making it stronger and shinier. The nutrients present in the fatty acids nourish the hair follicles and give them a stronger and sharper edge to not break off easily.
The natural oils that are produced by scalp tend to lessen as we grow older, so fish oil capsules act as a supplement in fighting the dryness of the scalp that leads to wrinkled and brittle hair. Researches have shown that hair follicles are becoming blunt due to the lack of fatty acids.
Consuming two fish oil capsules per day can do you good if done on a daily basis. The intake should be from trusted sources, and prefer to avoid dietary sources.
Trusted health organizations recommend 500 milligrams of fish oil intake per week, for adults on the healthy side. For adults with a risk of heart diseases, it is advisable to talk to your doctor to increase the dose accordingly.
Fish Oil Supplements are on the rise due to the scarce availability of omega-3 fatty acids.
Fish Oil Supplements for Hair Growth
Two units of fish weekly satisfy the recommended dose, the sources of fish oil are : salmon, haribut, sardines, tuna, cod, catfish, trout etc.
The fish oil supplements come in various sources such as:
Nuts: The highest amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is present in walnuts. 2.5 grams of ALA comes from one-ounce serving of walnuts.
Seeds: About 2.2 g per tbsp alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) come from Flaxseed
Eggs: 1 large egg contains 0.40 gms omega-3 fatty acids
Seed oils: 8.5 gms of ALA per tbsp. comes from Flaxseed oil
Canola oil, Shellfish, Whole grains, Nut oils and the most common way to consume fish oil is through fish oil capsules.
While all the supplements to fish oil are consumed directly, there is no other particular way to consume them. The supplements can be consumed either cooked or raw, depending on which supplement it is and taken accordingly.
Pros Of Supplements :
- Fish Oil Supplements contain both DHA and EPA, which are the root remedies to help prevent ailments and heart related problems.
- Some researches have shown that a fish oil supplement can lower the risk of Alzheimer disease.
- If fish is not what you’re fond of, fish oil capsules are your perfect solution to still let your blood blend with omega-3 fatty acids.
- Fish oil capsules lower triglyceride levels in blood, lessening the cases of heart attacks.
Cons Of Supplements :
- Fish Oil supplements are supplied by companies which are sometimes not required to register their product with the FDA. This can put the fish oil authenticity in question.
- These fish oil capsules can sometimes give side effects such as nausea and an upset stomach.
- For people who hate the smell of fish itself, these supplements can leave a fishy taste in your mouth.
- The exact degree of the benefits of fish oil aren’t confirmed to 100 percent.
Other Benefits Of Fish Oil
Fish Oil For Lose Weight
The omega-3 fatty acids not only promote good health but are supporters in the process of losing weight. They don’t necessarily build muscle, but they would definitely improve the quality of workouts.
Losing weight with the intake of fish oil doesn’t involve any specific diets or workouts though, so the fish oil or supplements alone can help you lose those few extra pounds by even decreasing your appetite.
Fish Oil For Eyes (Improve Vision)
Based on a research study, it was shown that infant vision development is massive when it comes to fish oil.
Infants who were pre-fed omega-3 as part of their diet showed better vision at around 5 months of age than the ones lacking omega-3 diet.
In adults, omega-3 fats help to protect eyes from the dry-eye syndrome and the macular degeneration of the eye. The fish oil decreases the high eye pressure on eyes keeping eyesight in better form.
Fish Oil During Pregnancy
While fish oil taken in recommended doses doesn’t harm pregnant women, and in fact does more good to them.
Every pregnant woman are most worried about which brand of fish oil to use, as this is the time body needs to the safest away from the slightest of toxins.
So, make sure the oil capsules that you take have been tested for mercury and authorized. Prenatal Capsules are gaining popularity amongst women since they have additional flavors too, but do your research on brands before the buy.
Fish Oil has benefited more than one that is serious aids in health issues, in areas of hair, skin, and overall health.
Although speculations still exist about its benefits, it is advisable to include the fish oil supplements as part of your medication while visiting a doctor to be advised further.