Fish Oil Benefits Archives

The benefits of Omega 3 to the human body have been studied extensively. What does fish oil do for you?

Fish oil. Everywhere you seem to read about the benefits of Omega 3, and the Omega 3 fatty acids that fish oil contains, to our health. Lets summarize the health benefits of fish oil.

Firstly let us say that there is not unanimous scientific agreement on all of these health benefits of taking Omega 3 fish oil. Like all these things there is always some disagreement, and continuing studies. But overall there seems to be more general agreement amongst the scientific community that Omega 3 fats from fish are good for us and we ought to all be eating more Omega 3 fats.

Here they are, the health benefits Of Omega 3 fish oil

1. Heart and Cardiovascular benefits of Omega 3 fish oils.

There is now very extensive research on the heart and cardio vascular benefits of taking fish oil supplements. And almost all of it comes down in favor of taking supplements (or eating LOTS of fish) for your heart. The research is mainstream and is clearly supported by the American Heart Association, which recommends the benefits of omega 3 oils to everyone.

The heart benefits of fish oil concentrates are varied. The Omega 3s help reduce the incidence of triglycerides in the blood and elevate the good cholesterol (HDL). They lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) and they also help lower blood pressure. All these are very good for your heart particularly given the incidence of cardio related deaths in our society.

2. Reduction in the risk of stroke.

Firstly there is a reduction in the risk of stroke. Stroke is a very serious matter, with many people every year either dying, or becoming seriously disabled due to strokes. The incidence of stroke in our society is high, and the result of having a stroke can be catastrophic.
Benefits of Omega 3

Strokes are caused by blood supply in a blood vessel being interrupted by a blood clot. Fish oils help reduce the risk of blood clots, thereby reducing the risk of stroke.

3. Improvements in brain function and reduction in Alzheimers and dementia.

Studies show improvement in memory and thinking ability and also improvements for children in brain development. Promising results are also being seen in lowering the risk of age related brain decline like Alzheimers and dementia.

Not only that but some studies show a reduction in depression and bipolar disease from taking Omega 3 supplements, very promising indeed for sufferers of these illnesses which can be totally devastating.

4. Reduction in the risk of macular degeneration

Macular degeneration is an age related condition that can lead to total blindness in older age. It has been untreatable to date and there are now studies showing that one of the health benefits of omega3 fish oils in the aged is a reduction in the risk of macular degeneration.

5. Reduction in the risks associated with diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a mainly lifestyle associated condition. It can be quite debilitating for sufferers though and in some cases can lead to death.

One of the major reasons why type 2 diabetes can result in death is that it can lead to heart problems. Type 2 diabetes can be characterized by high levels of triglycerides in the blood and lower levels of good cholesterol. The risks of death by heart attack for diabetes sufferers are around 6 times higher than they are for the general population.
Benefits of Omega 3

The heart benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids include lowering the risk of heart attack, and this is particularly important for diabetes sufferers.

6 Improvements in skin health.

One of the benefits of taking Omega3, believe it or not, is an improvement in skin health. The skin care industry is a massive one because so many women want younger looking healthier skin. Omega 3 supplements help them achieve exactly that. Our skin loses some of it’s natural oils all the time, and fish oil supplements help replace those natural oils.

There is quite a wide range of skin conditions that are helped by taking Omega 3 supplements including eczema, psoriasis, skin dryness and skin flaking, and more.

The best results for the skin are to be had from taking Omega 3 supplements along with using extremely high quality skin care products. Combine these 2 and you have a recipe for optimum skin care.

7. Weight control.

Studies have shown that increasing Omega 3 intake can help reduce the incidence of obesity in animals, and that the same can be true for people. The studies aren’t conclusive, however there is no doubt that there are a wide range of different health benefits of Omega 3 fats, so you ought to be taking them regardless, so if the studies are right then some weight control effects won’t go astray either.

And as overweight people can also have cardio vascular issues there’s no doubting the benefits of Omega 3 fats for the cardio vascular system.

8. Reduction in problems associated with mood disorders like depression and bipolar

Studies suggest a strong link between Omega 3 intake and lower levels of some mood disorders, particularly depression and bipolar disorder.

9. Improvements in Arthritis

Omega 3 fats help reduce inflammation in the body, and this helps us with a wide range of health disorders. One of the disorders associated with inflammation is Arthritis, and so taking Omega 3 supplements helps reduce the incidence of Arthritis.

Studies have concentrated on Rheumatoid Arthritis, but have shown a reduction joint tenderness and stiffness and for those taking extra Omega 3 s in their diet can result in a reduction in the need for Arthritis medication.

Other conditions that may be beneficially affected by Omega 3 fats:

1 Use for burns victims.

It is considered likely that the anti inflammatory properties of Omega 3 fats aid in treating burns but  it is not sufficiently studied.

2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Studies have suggested that one of the benifits of Omega 3 may be to reduce symptoms of Chrohns Disease and ulcerative colitis.

3. Asthma

Possibly an increase in Omega 3 fast may help improve lung function and help alleviate asthma.

4. Reduction in the risks of various cancers including bowel cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer.

There are also studies suggesting a link between increasing Omega 3s and reductions in various types of cancer, but more research is needed and is continuing.

Summary.

Like all things  to do with health and medicine it’s always difficult to say when something is proven, and there will always be experts on both sides of the argument. It seems the evidence for the cardio vascular benefits of Omega 3 supplementation is the strongest, but that there is also significant evidence in support of the other conditions mentioned above.

What to do about it?

It’s quite clear that everyone ought to be keeping their intake of Omega 3 fatty acids high, and that our diets, on average, are too low in Omega fats. There is ample evidence of the benefits of Omega 3 supplementation in many areas, and for these reasons sales of fish oil supplements are growing faster than any other supplement in history.

The AHA recommends Omega 3 fats for our diets. That’s quite clear. Whether some benefits of omega 3 intake are proven or not there are clearly significant health benefits from taking them, and secondary benefits like weight control may just be icing on the cake. Either way we all ought to be getting more Omega 3 in our diets.

What to take?

It’s also clear that we ought to be limiting our intake of some fish, and to take daily Omega 3 in adequate amounts is difficult unless we take the best Omega 3 capsules available.

The best Omega 3 supplements are excellent value for reasons we have outlined in our article about how to find the best Omega 3 supplements. Not the cheapest, but the best.

Note that particularly if you have pre existing medical conditions you ought to consult your doctor before starting dietary supplements including Omega 3 supplements.

To your health.

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Cod Liver Oil. Are there benefits to cod liver oil that outweigh the benefits of fish oil?

You may have heard about Cod Liver Oil from your grandmother. For a long time there has been an accepted wisdom that cod taking liver oil supplements has been good for you.

Is this the case? Are there cod liver oil benefits or is it a myth? Has modern science confirmed that there are indeed cod liver oil benefits? And are there risks to taking cod liver oil? Or should you take Omega 3 supplements?

Yes it has, your grandmother was right, even though science may not have known then that there were good reasons for taking cod liver oil supplements.

The majority of the benefits of cod liver oil relate to the Omega 3 content, because of course cod liver oil has Omega 3 fats in it. And as you would know if you have read some of our other information there is a wide range of benefits from adding some more Omega 3 to your diet.Cod Liver Oil Benefits

Cod liver oil also has beneficial vitamins as well, such as vitamins A and D. Vitamin D is an important vitamin in the body because it helps us process calcium so is useful for strong bones and is therefore helpful in preventing osteoporosis.

However there is now some question over how much Vitamin A should be taken. And as there is quite a lot of vitamin A in cod liver oil there are risks of over consumption of vitamin A. For example in the US pregnant women are now advised to avoid vitamin A and this includes cod liver oil. Cod liver oil is not recommended in the UK.

Thus there are some risks as well as benefits of cod liver oil. Whilst it is a good source of Omega 3 fats it isn’t ideal as it is high in Vitamin A.

And there is another risk to taking cod liver oil supplements. It is, as the name suggests, sourced from the livers of cod fish taken from the North Sea. Unfortunately there are issues associated with contamination of fish with various contaminants, including heavy metals, PCBs and mercury. Although levels are not high they are sufficient to be worrying. And the liver accumulates more of these toxins.

Whilst these contaminants weren’t a problem in your grandmothers time, they are now.

A better way to source your Omega3 fatty acids, the major advantage of taking cod liver oil, is to take Omega 3 supplements that are clean and free from the risk of excess vitamin A. Vitamin A comes from the liver of the fish but not the flesh, so it isn’t a problem in Omega 3 supplements taken from the flesh of fish.

If you do need vitamin A or D supplementation it is quite possible to achieve this through a good vitamin supplement delivering regulated and lower levels.

And the very best Omega 3 supplements are also much cleaner than cod liver oil may be, with levels of contaminants being basically undetectable.

So yes, there are benefits to taking cod liver oil, but there may also be risks. You can get the benefits of taking cod liver oil supplements by taking Omega 3 supplements, without the risks.
Your grandmother was right, in her day taking cod liver oil was a good idea. Nowadays there’s still benefits to the Omega 3 fats, there’s just better ways to get them.

And there’s another issue at stake here as well. Cod liver oil obviously comes from cod. That’s the only place you can get it, so to manufacture cod liver oil supplements the industry must have cod to use to extract the oil from the liver of the fish.

Cod, however, are not in great abundance any more. Cod are a favorite food of many Europeans, and they have been caught in huge numbers in the North Sea as well as the Atlantic. It is now estimated that the numbers of cod in the North Sea are around 10% of what they were. Catches were around 250000 tons a year but are now limited to just over 5% of that, and the cod are getting much harder to find.

Even with restrictive catch limits the fishermen can’t catch enough to fill their quota.

In the year 2000 WWF put cod on the endangered list.

So taking cod liver oil isn’t necessarily a great idea for a wide range of reasons.

To read more about the fate of the ever diminishing cod click here.

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