Fish oil is one of the most commonly consumed dietary supplements.
Below are some of the many health benefits of fish oil.
Fish Oil Can Be Good for Heart Health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide .
Studies have shown that people who eat a lot of fish have much lower rates of heart disease.
There are a number of risk factors for heart disease, and many of these appear to be reduced by fish or fish oil consumption.
The benefits of fish oil for heart health include:
Cholesterol levels: It can increase levels of HDL (the “good”) cholesterol. However, it does not appear to reduce levels of LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol .
Triglycerides: It can lower triglycerides by about .
Blood pressure: Even in small doses, it helps reduce blood pressure in those with high blood pressure .
Plaques: It may prevent the plaques that form in arteries and cause them to harden, as well as make arterial plaques more stable and safer in those who already have them .
Fatal arrhythmias: In people who are at risk, it may reduce fatal arrhythmia events. Arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms that can cause heart attacks in certain cases .
Although fish oil supplementation can improve many of the risk factors for heart disease, there is no clear evidence that it can prevent heart attacks or strokes .
Fish Oil May Help Treat Certain Mental Disorders
Your brain is made up of nearly 60% fat, and much of this fat is omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, omega-3s are essential for normal brain function .
In fact, some studies have shown that people with certain mental disorders have lower omega-3 blood levels .
Interestingly, studies have shown that fish oil supplementation can prevent the onset or improve the symptoms of some mental disorders. For example, it can reduce the risk of psychotic disorders in those who are at risk .
In addition, supplementing with fish oil in high doses can reduce some symptoms of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder .
Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. Globally, about 39% of adults are overweight, while 13% are obese. The numbers are even higher in high-income countries like the US .
Obesity can significantly increase the risk of other diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer .
Fish oil supplementation may improve body composition and risk factors for heart disease in obese people .
However, not all studies have found the same effect .
One analysis of 21 studies found that fish oil supplementation didn’t significantly reduce weight in obese individuals, but it did reduce waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio.