I know that the human being and the fish can co exist peacefully. George W. Bush.
Though a political statement if we try to analyze this scientifically we conclude that the fish oil with its beneficial effects has proven to let us humans exist in a healthy peace of mind and body. Science has shown that the benefits of fish oil only end when you do. So from while you were inviter (if your mother took it) till you complete the full circle of your life fish oil is your key to good health.
I, Dr Neelu Khanna with my extensive research on fish oil benefits would try to keep you abreast with the benefits of fish oil. But before that it becomes imperative to know what exactly fish oil is.
Fish oil is derived from the tissues of the oily fish. Most common fish oil is extracted from the body of the fish, but it can also be extracted specifically from the liver of the fish.
Let us also spare a thought for the fish who give us this source of oil. They are
3. Lake trout
Fish oil is basically rich in omega 3 fatty acid. In words of health researchers omega 3 fatty is the only thing which deserves the praise thats heaped upon it. But the irony is that it is also the most essential nutrient missing in our modern day diet.
As it is the main nutrient in fish oil I would like to do some justice to it by highlighting its virtues.
Most of us are unaware of the fact that our brain is mostly made up of fat and the significant portion of this is omega 3 fatty acid also known as docosahexaenoic acid. The human brain is comprised of 60% fat half of which is DHA omega 3.
So let us not let our grey cells turn rust, instead give them the pink of health they so deserve.
Benefits of fish oil:
1. Heart Problems: Known as Hearts best friend consumption of fish oil has shown to lower the triglycerides levels and increase the good cholesterol, which helps in reducing the episodes of heart attack.
2. It also reduces and helps in heart arrhythmia that is the rhythm abnormalities of the heart.
3. It gives protection from stroke and heart attack by acting on the platelets.
4. It is of immense value in cases of Angina and Peripheral vascular diseases. In fact, the US National Institutes of Health has listed three conditions where fish oil is highly recommended:
ii. Secondary Cardiovascular diseases.
iii. Prevention of High Blood Pressure.
5. Cohn Disease and inflammatory Bowel disorders: Patients of Crohns diseases on daily dosage of fish oil supplement are relatively more symptom free as compared to their counterparts on placebo.
6. Arthritis: Fish oil is effective in reducing symptoms and pain of inflammatory condition of the joints like Arthritis. It reduces the morning stiffness and joint tenderness.
7. Depression and Anxiety :Owing to the presence of omega 3 fatty acid fish oil is good for relieving depression , sadness , anxiety , restlessness , mental fatigue , stress , decreased sexual desires , suicidal tendencies and other nervous disorders.
8. Alzheimers disease: Being the best rich source of essential fatty acids EPA & DHA it helps in Alzheimer disease. People with Alzheimers have a reduced protein called LRII which prevents toxic plaques in the brain. Fish oil is believed to increase the production of this protein.
9. Parkinson Disease: A connection between low omega 3 levels and Parkinsons has been shown in studies conducted. Fish oil consumption forms a protective sheath against the occurrence of Parkinsons.
10. Autism: Fatty acid deficiency has been linked to Autism. Out of the symptoms of irritability, social withdrawal, stereotypy, hyperactivity and inappropriate speech studies have shown that fish oil is very helpful in decreasing the stereotypy and hyperactivity in children on fish oil supplement diet.
It has evidently been shown to be of use in cases of dyslexics and dyspraxia.
11. Bipolar disease and Schizophrenia: By maintaining the serotonin and dopamine hormonal levels it is very helpful in cases of people suffering from these mental illness.
12. Mood Stabiliser: A very effective mood stabiliser, it can be taken by individuals suffering from mood swings.
13. Compulsive disorders: People from compulsive disorders too have got a new lease of life thanks to fish oil and its benefits.
14. ADD and ADHD: Disorders like ADD and ADHD too have benefited from consumption of fish oil supplements.
15. Headaches and migraines: Those suffering from recurrent episodes of migraine and headaches have shown considerable improvement following consumption of fish oil supplements in their diet.
16. Reduction of breast, colon and prostrate cancer: Omega 3 fish oil inhibits the unwanted cellular growth and aiding in death of cancerous cells.
17. Cervical Cancer: In women suffering from sexually transmitted disease like Human Papilloma studies have shown that fish oil helps in lowering the HPV cells .It also inhibits the growth of already cancerous cells in even in benign tumours.
18. Skin Cancer: Fish oil also has good news for skin cancers. It has been proved that fish oil helps in reducing sun burns by protecting the skin from harmful U/V rays.
19. Cystic Fibrosis: Fish oil has been proved to be of marked help in cases of Cystic Fibrosis. Taking it has shown increase in the levels of EPA and DHA .The most significant factor is the drop of antibiotic medication which followed after fish oil supplements were administered.
20. Ulcerative Colitis: It is extremely beneficial in ulcerative colitis by helping the body to produce anti inflammatory substance.
21. Raynauds Disease: Clinical trials have shown that fish oils supplements are extremely helpful in Raynauds disease too.
22. Diabetes: The fatty acids from the fish oil also offer protection from Diabetes, both type I (juvenile onset) and type II.
23. Heart diseases in children: Children with inherited hypercholesterolemia and hyperlipidemia are at a high risk of developing coronary heart disease. A team of American and Austrian cardiologists based on their research have suggested that with supplementing DHA early coronary atherosclerosis can be delayed in hyperlipidemic children.
24 .Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in adolescents: Researches at Louis Pasteur University of Strasbourg have concluded based on their research that a diet rich in fish oil helps in reducing development of MS in adolescents.
25. Bronchial asthma in children: Fish oil consumption has shown to reduce incidence of asthma in children and even treat breathing problem in adults.
26. Protection from Cyclosporine toxicity in organ transplant cases : Improvement in kidney function and heart function has been reported following administration of fish oil supplements in the diet.
27. Infertility: Couples facing problems with conceiving on taking fish oil as a part of their diet improve the chances of conception.
28. Benefits of fish oil to pregnant mothers: Intake of fish oil protects the mother from pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure during pregnancy. It also reduces post – partum depression .It has shown to enable full term pregnancies with minimal chance of complications.
29. Benefits of fish oil to foetus: Fish oil helps in development of the nervous system and better eye sight by aiding retina formation. It also helps the child to have less behavioral problems after birth.
30. Fish oil and skin: Consuming it reduces and helps in various skin problems like psoriasis, flaky skin, eczema and acne. EPA limits the production of Arachidonic acid which is responsible for pro-inflammatory responses in the body.
31. Hair growth: By providing essential nutrients to the hair follicles and the scalp, fish oil is very good for long, shiny and healthy hair. It promotes hair growth and at the same time prevents hair fall too.
32. Fish oil and Eyes: It is known to improve vision and studies are being conducted to prove its efficacy in cases of macular degeneration.
33. Losing Weight: Scientifically it has been proved that fish oil diet helps in losing weight. Being an essential fatty acid which is not produced in the body it has to be taken as an external source. As some essential fatty acids help in losing weight fish oil plays that role.
34. Anti ageing: It affects the skin by regulating the cellular structure and maintaining flexibility and suppleness and thereby promotes a healthy glowing skin with a significant effect on wrinkles.
35. Fish oil has a significant effect in reducing the clotting of the blood thereby improving blood circulation and reducing the levels of triglyceride and cholesterol.
How to get your moneys worth while buying fish oil supplements:
Few tips: Various products of varied brands are available in the market.
1.Check the DHA content. The higher it is the better.
2. Bottle should be opaque and sealed with foil.
3. Check for certificate of analysis.
4. Check the label for no additives of flavours.
5.Do not compromise on the price else you would end up compromising on your health.
Though the benefits of fish oil surpass its side effects it still is mandatory to add a word of caution here.
1.It may cause Vitamin D toxicity if taken in large supplements.
2.As it is derived from fish and many fish contain heavy metals like mercury, lead, nickel and arsenic it may cause heavy metal poisoning.
3. It leaves a fishy after taste in the mouth.
4.It may cause an upset stomach.
I would like to share with you all an interesting fact from page of history .In Great Britain during the world war II fish oil supplements were distributed free to children under 5 yrs of age ,pregnant and breast feeding women .
So to summarize the benefits of fish oil I would say right from the time you were being tried to be conceived to the time you were in vitro till your birth, adolescence and adult hood fish oil plays a very important role.
Be it the heart that beats for you or the mind that thinks, to the eyes that see it helps in sustaining your health.
So give it a chance to be a part of your diet and make the most of it.
While we all are so busy in the rat race of life its high time we divert our attention to fish oil and win the race of our precious life.
Authors Brief Bio: Dr Neelu Khanna is a dentist by profession, an ex Major with the Indian Army. She is a national levels orator with a knack of poetry. A keen sports person who likes to live her present to the fullest.