What is fish oil?
Fish oil is a rich source of the two essential omega-3 fatty acids known as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). It is found in the fatty tissues of cold water, oily fish. It is also available in supplement form for those who eat little or no fish.
There are three main types of omega-3:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Alpha-linoleic acid (ALA)
EPA and DHA come from animal sources, such as krill and fish, while ALA is from flaxseed, hemp, and other plants. The omega-3s from animals are considered the better varieties as they have more health benefits. Plus, the body can absorb EPA and DHA better than ALA. You don’t have to avoid ALA completely, but ideally you should have animal-based omega-3s when you consume the plant-based kind.
Omega-3 fish oil supplements are widely available. With the help of these supplements, you don’t have to worry about having low concentrations of both DHA and EPA. High intake of these omega-3 varieties can provide you with the following health benefits:
1.) Better Heart Health
According to an Italian study, heart attack survivors greatly reduced their risk of experiencing another attack after they regularly supplemented with fish oils. Consuming the supplement at least once every week can give 50% lower risk of a fatal cardiac arrest.
2.) Reduced Pains Due to Osteoarthritis
A study conducted by the University of Bristol showed that fish oil supplements can decrease pains felt because of osteoarthritis by up to 50% in guinea pigs.
3.) Increased Lifespan
With the help of fish oil, your telomeres (the DNA found at every end of a chromosome) become longer, which means longer life.
4.) Improved Memory
One particular study compared two groups of people: those who took the supplement and those who didn’t. The researchers discovered that fish oils can boost cognitive functioning and can improve the brain structure.
5.) Better Bone Health
Most of us are aware that in order to improve bone health, we should consume calcium as our supplement, along with magnesium and vitamin D. But these aren’t the only nutrients you should take. Omega-3 is also essential in building bones and keeping them strong.
6.) Anxiety Prevention
A study published in the European Journal of Neuroscience, fish oil can reverse behavior changes in rats that are related to depression and anxiety. This shows that the nutrient can indeed be helpful in developing the brain, particularly during the most critical periods.
Other benefits of supplementing with omega-3 fish oils are the reduction of triglyceride levels and blood pressure, decreased strokes and arthritis symptoms, and even lower chances of developing prostate, breast, and colon cancers.
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