It seems like everyone is looking for a magic supplement that they can take every day to fix all of their issues.
Unfortunately, that supplement does not exist. But if I had to choose one to take to protect my body as much as possible, it would have to be fish oil.
I would pick fish oil because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
There’s a long list of benefits omega-3s have for the body, and that’s exactly what I’m going to cover in this blog.
1. Heart Health
The American Heart Association has been recommending eating 1-2 portions of fresh fish per week, or taking in fish oil, for many years, and that’s due to its high levels of EPA and DHA.
They improve cholesterol levels by increasing the amount of HDL (good cholesterol) and lowering LDL (bad cholesterol).
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease triglyceride levels by up to 15-30%.
They’ve also been shown to reduce blood pressure, even in small doses.
Omega-3s help reduce the blood pressure in people with elevated levels especially, and decrease plaque buildup and increase plaque prevention.
2. Skin Health
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids.
Skin health can decline throughout your life, especially during old age or after too much sun exposure.
Fish oil supplements may be beneficial in a number of skin disorders because they help replenish the fatty acids in the skin and lower inflammation.
This is especially beneficial for conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis.
3. Brain Health
Omega-3 improves your mental health because your brain is made up of nearly 60% fat, most of which is omega-3 fatty acids.
Therefore, omega-3s are essential for brain function.
In fact, some studies suggest that people with certain mental health conditions have lower levels of omega-3 in their blood.
That means raising omega-3 levels could help your cognitive function.
4. Eye Health
Just like your brain, your eyes rely on omega-3 fatty acids.
Evidence suggests that people who don’t get enough omega-3s have a greater risk of eye disease.
5. Lowered Inflammation
Inflammation has been touted as the root of 90% of all disease. In studies, fish oil was found to reduce the production and gene expression of inflammatory molecules called cytokines.
Fish oil supplements can significantly reduce joint pain and stiffness.
That means they can also cut down on medication needs, especially in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
6. Decreased Hyperactivity
Studies show that fish oil supplements may improve perceived hyperactivity, inattention, impulsiveness, and aggression in children.
7. Supports Early Development
Fish oil is crucial for children’s early development, especially in pregnant mothers.
Taking fish oil supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding may particularly improve infant visual development, and reduce the risk of allergies.
8. Reduces Fatty Liver
Your liver produces most of the fat in your body and can play a huge role in weight gain.
Liver disease is becoming increasingly more common, particularly in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a disease in which fat accumulates in the liver.
Fish oil supplements have been shown to improve liver function and reduce inflammation, which may reduce symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as the amount of fat stored in your liver in the first place.
9. Reduces Depression
Depression is expected to become the second-largest cause of illness by the year 2023.
Studies have shown that people with major depression appear to have lower levels of omega-3 in their blood.
Other studies have shown that the EPA in omega-3 fish oil reduced symptoms of depression.
10. Slows Cognitive Decline
As you age, your brain function slows down and your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease increases.
People who eat more fish tend to experience a slower decline in brain function in old age.
11. Reduced Asthma Symptoms
Asthma, which can cause swelling in the lungs and shortness of breath, is becoming much more common, especially in children.
A number of studies now show that fish oil may reduce asthma symptoms, especially in early life.
In a study of nearly a 100,000 people, a pregnant mother’s fish or omega-3 intake was found to reduce the risk of asthma in children by 24-29%.
12. Bone Health
People with higher omega-3 intakes and blood levels may have better bone mineral density.
A number of small, older studies suggest that fish oil supplements reduce markers of bone breakdown, which prevents bone loss in the first place.
13. Decreased Appetite
Weight loss studies found that omega-3 fish oil actually decreases your appetite and hunger.
An experiment found that those who consumed fish oil on a daily basis felt much more full between meals than those who didn’t.
Some researchers even believe that omega-3 can boost your metabolism.
How To Shop For Fish Oil
Those are 13 incredible benefits of taking fish oil. If you don’t eat 1-2 portions of oily fish per week, you might want to consider taking a fish oil supplement.
But keep in mind that not all fish oils are made the same. How can you determine if the fish oil supplement that you’re taking is good?
Most of the research that we just went through is based on the amount of EPA and DHA dosage that’s in the supplement itself.
EPA and DHA dosage recommendations vary according to your age.
For most adults, you want to shoot for somewhere between 500-1600 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids.
The form you take matters because it’s not what you take, it’s what you absorb.
Fish oil supplements come in a variety of forms, but typically you’re going to see ethyl esters or triglycerides.
The triglyceride form has been shown to absorb better into the body so that you can get more benefits out of the fish oil you are taking.
Many supplements contain up to 1,000 milligrams of fish oil, but their servings of EPA and DHA are very low.
Read the label and choose one that contains at least 500 milligrams of EPA and DHA, not just fish oil.
Some fish oil supplements may not even contain the ingredients that they say they actually will.
To avoid these products, choose a supplement that has had third-party testing.
This will also help ensure there’s no heavy metals or contaminants ending up in the fish oil itself.
Freshness is a massive issue with fish oils, because it can go rancid very quickly. It’s prone to oxidation, so we have to protect it.
You want to look for a fish oil that contains vitamin E.
You also want to keep your fish oil out of light, so don’t get them in a clear container.
You might even want to store them in a fridge because cooling keeps it a little extra protected.
Don’t ever use a fish oil supplement that has a rancid smell or is out of date. Rancid oil is going to take you in the opposite direction of all of these benefits.
If you need to learn more about what other supplements are toxic or which are the wrong ones to take, watch this video here.