The Health Benefits of Fish Oil Explained.
The health benefits of fish oil supplements are solid, and backed up with research
When it comes to claims about health most things you hear are at best dubious and at worst complete rubbish. But does that observation apply to the health benefits of fish oil supplements?
It’s true to say that mainstream medicine is extremely sceptical of just about any so-called alternative health product, particularly one to help prevent disease. Mainstream medicine focuses on trying to cure disease rather than to prevent it.
However it is also true to say that most branches of mainstream medicine now accept the numerous health benefits of fish oil, which contains the essential fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), which are commonly called the Omega 3 fatty acids.
Sales of fish oil supplements containing the Omega 3 fatty acids have exploded in recent years, and for good reason. Both modern medicine and more alternative medicine now fully support the contention that increasing the amount of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids in your diet can have numerous and substantial health benefits.
Having medical doctors agree on the health benefits of an “alternative” health supplement is rare indeed. Just see how many mainstream medical professionals are skeptical about claims made for the health benefits of vitamin supplements for example.
But there is now such overwhelming scientific evidence to support the health benefits of fish oil supplementation, commonly with high quality Omega3 supplements, that most health experts and scientists as well as doctors agree that our current dietary deficiency in the Omega 3 essential fatty acids is seriously affecting our health.
And there is also general agreement that this deficiency of the Omega 3 fatty acids in our diet plays a significant role in the dramatic rise of lifestyle diseases including heart disease, cancer and brain diseases. There are numerous studies showing that these types of conditions will improve with Omega 3 supplementation.
So why are Omega 3 essential fatty acids so important to your health?
Your brain is made up of around 60 percent fat. Roughly half of that fat is DHA, the most important of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids, and it has a major role in brain function as well as brain development.
In effect your brain runs on fat, and if it doesn’t have enough DHA it won’t run properly.
Not only will it run inefficiently but it will also become more susceptible to various diseases and conditions.
Omega 3 essential fatty acids are almost a miracle fat. Unlike many other fats which are bad for you the Omega 3 fats are essential to the proper operation of your body. Lets look at some specific examples.
Your brain health
There’s a wide range of mental and mood disorders linked to a deficiency in Omega 3 fats including anxiety, depression, ADD, ADHD, mood swings, postpartum depression and more.
And studies from professional medical institutions like the Harvard School of Public Health have shown that many of these conditions can benefit from increasing your intake of the Omega 3 fatty acids.
This is usually achieved by taking high quality fish oil supplements.
And it’s not just these conditions which can benefit, studies have also shown that an adequate supply of DHA can improve the development of the foetal and infant brain, improve memory and focus and the ability to concentrate at school amongst children and improve their overall likelihood of doing well at school.
The health of your heart
The American Heart Association, as mainstream a medical organisation as you can get, states that “Omega 3 fatty acids benefit the heart of healthy people, and those at high risk of – or who have – cardiovascular disease”.
Some of the best scientists have studied the heart health benefits of fish oil supplementation and have demonstrated enormous benefits to the heart from increasing the intake of the Omega 3 fats including reducing the risk of death from heart attack. Heart disease is one of our major killers.
How could the Omega 3 fats actually do this? They can help the blood flow better in your veins thereby reducing the risk of heart attack. Omega3s can reduce the amount of triglycerides in your blood, which are blood fats very similar to cholesterol, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease.
And Omega 3 fats can reduce the likelihood of other heart abnormalities as well.
The Omega 3 fatty acids are also particularly successful at reducing inflammation in the body and this also benefits other health conditions, for example:
Much of the pain associated with arthritis is caused by inflammation in the body, and particularly those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis can get significant relief from increasing the amount of fish oil in their diet.
Psoriasis and other skin disorders
Many skin conditions can be caused by or exacerbated by inflammation, and the anti-inflammatory effects of the Omega3 fats can help. A little known fact is that one of the best things you can do for your skin as you get older, apart from using high quality skin care products, is to increase the Omega 3 fats in your diet by taking quality Omega3 supplements.
The essential fats are essential not only to your general health but also to the health of your skin.
Pregnant women and mothers who are nursing
There is now a significant scientific evidence that the essential fatty acids DHA and EPA, and in particular DHA, are very important in the development of the foetal brain. This of course begins during pregnancy, particularly during the third trimester, and continues during childhood.
And there is solid evidence that pregnant women and nursing mothers should ensure they have an adequate supply of essential fatty acids in their diet. This is for their own sake as well as for the sake of the infant. The infant obtains his or her fatty acids from breastmilk, but only if there is enough in the diet of the mother.
Cancer is one of the major killers in Western societies, and there is now also significant evidence that an adequate intake of the Omega 3 fats in the diet can help prevent some cancers or also help reduce their progression. There is still significant scientific research being conducted on these areas but the results are clearly encouraging.
Studies have shown positive results against breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer and others.
And that’s not all
In fact the health benefits of fish oil supplementation are numerous, and apply to a massive range of diseases and health conditions, but if we list them all here you’d get extremely bored reading all of them.
So what do you do about this?
Unfortunately our diets, over the last hundred years, have become extremely deficient in our intake of fish, the best source of DHA and EPA, and fish are now extremely expensive to buy and generally contaminated with industrial toxins such as Mercury.
Fortunately there are excellent high quality fish oil supplements available which do not have any concerns about Mercury, and which are also highly cost effective to take every single day.
The company that makes the best fish oil supplements sources it’s fish oil from fish taken way down near Antarctica, subjects the oil to molecular distillation, a process to remove any contaminants that may be present, tests every batch of fish oil at an independent laboratory and publishes a Certificate of Analysis of each batch of fish oil on their website.
So you can see for yourself how clean these fish oil supplements are. It is in fact quite rare to find a company that does this, most will become extremely secretive if you ask to see a Certificate of Analysis of their oil, either because they don’t have one or because they’d rather you didn’t see it.
For around $20 a month you can take high quality fish oil supplements every single day and attract the health benefits of fish oil supplementation for yourself and your family. That’s much cheaper than buying fish.
How do we determine which is the best fish oil?
There is huge differences between the price and the quality of the different fish oil supplements on the market, and there are many.
Many people are unaware that the amount of the active ingredients DHA and EPA, which is what you are buying when you buy supplements, varies enormously between the different brands.
Here’s what we look for when evaluating the different fish oil supplements available:
- Is the fish being used for the oil high in DHA and EPA, particularly DHA?
- Is the oil completely free of contamination and can you independently verify that for yourself?
- Does the company which manufactures the supplements source its fish directly from the fishermen or does it buy wholesale oil which comes from who knows where and which may well be contaminated, who knows?
- How much DHA and EPA is in the capsule, and does the bottle tell you?
Once you know the answers to these questions you can compare the different fish oil capsules available on both price and quality.
We’ve done that comparison and in our view the fish oil supplements from Xtend Life, a natural products company based in New Zealand, come out in front on both value and quality.
- Their fish oil is sourced from a fish called Hoki caught way down in the southern ocean in deep water. This ocean is clean and the fish are clean.
- Hoki are very high in Omega 3 and particularly in DHA.
- Xtend Life deal directly with the fishermen who catch the fish and can therefore extract the oil as fast as possible keeping it as fresh as possible. Just like anything else fish oil can go off, and many fish oil supplements are made with old rancid fish oil.
- The oil is molecularly distilled and a Certificate of Analysis is produced for every single batch and the certificate is published on their website.
- And when you do a value comparison you’ll also find that these high quality fish oil supplements come out in front on value.
The author uses these supplements every day. It’s a small price to pay to maintain your health.
Thanks for reading our website, and we hope you are now a much more educated consumer, that understands the health benefits of fish oil supplementation as well as how to choose the best fish oil supplements.Written by - Benefits of Fish Oil