What Does Fish Oil Actually Do?

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Fish oil has been hyped for quite some time for its supposedly infinite health benefits.Where fish oil is mentioned, omega-3 is almost certain to follow. Omega-3, the most popular component of fish oil is among the most thoroughly researched nutritional elements and many clinical studies have unearthed significant evidence supporting itsability to promote human health. This makes Omega-3 supplements a widely sought after commodity and they are aggressively advertised on TV, internet and print media. Fish oil is extracted from the tissues of cold water, oily fish such as salmon, tuna and anchovies. So what does fish oil do in our bodies to once we use it?
Below is a list of the most well known health benefits of fish oil:

1. Helps to reduce weight
Certain components present in fish oil kill pre-fat cells before they are converted into fat cells in the body thus slowing down accumulation of fat. Combined with proper diet and exercise the benefits can be even greater.

2. Has anti-depressant properties
Omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil increase the transfer of serotonin between brain cells. Serotonin is a chemical produced by the body that controls mood and is a powerful antidepressant. An interesting observation by scientists is that people who live in areas where fatty fish are a staple food have significantly lower depression rates.

3. Lowers the risk of cardiovascular complications
Fish oil lowers the levels of bad cholesterol(LDL) and triglycerides while promoting the levels of good cholesterol(HDL). LDL and triglycerides destroy blood vessel, a major factor in the development of heart disease and arteriosclerosis.

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4. Skin and hair care
A fatty acid called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) present in fish oil helps to regulate oil production and increases skin hydration. This eliminates dry skin and gives it a healthy, vibrant glow. EPA has anti-inflammatory properties. This gives fish oil the ability to fight various skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema and lesions.
It nourishes hair follicles resulting in the growth of healthy thick hair with a lustrous shine. It also helps to reduce hair loss.

5. Pregnancy
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fish oil has been found to aid the development of various organs of the baby in the womb particularly the brain and eyes. Miscarriages and premature births are also less common among women who take fish oil during pregnancy. Children whose mothers consumed fish oil during pregnancy display better eye-hand coordination and some unverified studies actually claim that they have higher generally IQs than other children.

6. Helps to fight Alzheimer’s disease
EPA and DHA help to prevent nervous system degeneration that leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Two independent researches carried out by Louisiana State University and The University of California at Los-Angeles have come up with data that seems to validate these two essential fatty acids as a possible relief for this much-feared disease. The Alzheimer’s Association has also endorsed consumption of fish oil as a way of slowing Alzheimer’s.

7. Helps to fight arthritis and joint pains
A study conducted by the Albany Medical College suggested that fish oil has positive effects in treating osteoarthritis and can replace pharmaceutical products to relieve joint pains. It slows down the destruction of cartilage by certain enzymes thus helping to reduce arthritis. It is recommended that one uses pure, non-synthetic fish oil since it is more effective and has fewer side-effects.

8. It has anti inflammatory properties
It helps to reduce inflammations in tissues and blood hence it can provide relief to those with chronic inflammatory diseases such as Celiac disease, ulcerative colitis and short bowel syndrome.

9. Fish oil helps to fight ADHD and other similar disorders
60% of the brain is fats including omega 3 and omega 6 abundantly available in fish oil. Some studies show that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD) have lower levels of omega 3 in their blood. This may be the reason why significant improvement was seen in children with ADHD who took fish oil. Research carried out by CSIRO and University of South Australia showed behavior of children with ADHD improved tremendously when they were given primrose capsules and varying doses of fish oil for 15 weeks.

10. Enhances vision
- Various studies show that fish oil helps in the formation of eyes of babies in the uterus. In adults, especially those of advanced years it prevents macular degeneration.

Fish oil is very safe and it is available over the counter and no doctor’s prescription is required. No life threatening side effects have been reported. The most reported complaints relate to various forms of discomfort arising from fish intolerance. These range from taste which a lot of people find awful to slight diarrhea and burping. The latter two tend to disappear after sometime when the gut has adjusted to digesting fish.

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