Fish oil is made from the fatty or oily tissue of certain fish, like trout, sardines, mackerel, herring, salmon and tuna. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and D which have been linked to many health benefits.
Fish oil and omega-3 supplements are becoming increasingly popular among people who want to support their health.
Despite a lot of research into the potential advantages of taking fish oil supplements, the findings are inconclusive and more studies are needed to determine if these products really deliver major benefits.
Read on to learn more about what fish oil can do for you and if you are suitable to take fish oil.
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1. Helps Lower Blood Pressure
Studies have determined that consistent fish oil intake can help to lower your blood pressure levels. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil act as a natural vasodilator, allowing for improved circulation and optimized blood flow.
This reduces the strain on your cardiovascular system, particularly during times of physical exertion or high stress.
2. Improves Joint Mobility and Flexibility
Fish oil has been proven to reduce inflammation, helping to keep joint and muscle strain in check. This makes it useful for those with chronic pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
Many studies have proven that regular fish oil consumption can help reduce stiffness in the joints and increase overall mobility.
3. Supports Brain Health and Cognitive Function
Fish oil has also been linked to improved brain health and cognitive function. It helps keep the neural connections in your brain working optimally, aiding learning, memory, and concentration.
Studies have shown that people who consume fish oil regularly for extended periods of time experience improved cognitive skills, moods, and overall well being.
4. Promotes Heart Health by Reducing Triglyceride Levels
Fish oil has been used to help improve heart health as it is one of the most potent sources of omega-3 fatty acids available. Research shows that taking fish oil on a regular basis can reduce triglyceride levels and may lower the risk for other heart-related problems, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.
It also reduces inflammation which can be linked to many chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease.
5. Aids in Weight Management
One of the most important benefits of fish oil is its ability to aid in managing weight. Omega-3 fatty acids help to regulate appetite and metabolism, making it easier to manage your weight and reduce body fat.
6. Diabetes Prevention, and Better Skin and Hair Health
Fish oil can also help with diabetes prevention by helping to lower blood sugar levels and reducing insulin resistance.
Furthermore, omega-3s are known for their skin health benefits, including improved hydration and nutrition for hair follicles.
These fatty acids provide essential oils that can give your skin a glow and make your hair smoother, shinier and more voluminous.
Is There Any Side Effects of Fish Oil?
Fish oil supplements are generally considered safe when taken at recommended doses, however, mild side effects can occur. These may include:
- an unpleasant fishy aftertaste
- bad breath
- taking high doses of fish oil supplements may increase the risk of bleeding and stroke
Should I Take Fish Oil Supplements?
Taking fish oil supplements is generally not necessary for the average person. Eating a few servings of fish a week should provide enough omega-3 fatty acids to meet your daily needs. However, if you have a history of heart disease or high triglycerides, it may be beneficial to take omega-3 supplements.
As with any supplement, there are potential side effects and spending money on expensive fish oil supplements could be better invested in improving your overall diet with healthier foods.
How Should Fish Oil Be Taken?
If you’re looking to incorporate fish oil into your diet, there are several ways to do so. Most people either take a fish oil supplement in pill or liquid form, or they eat oily fish such as mackerel, herring, tuna, and salmon.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil help reduce pain and swelling and prevent blood clots, so eating multiple servings of these types of fish per week is a great way to take advantage of this health benefit.
Taking a daily supplement may also be necessary if you don’t consume enough omega-3 from your diet alone.
To get the most out of your fish oil supplement, it’s important to take it with a meal that contains some healthy fat.
This could be foods such as avocados, eggs, or olive oil. Doing this boosts the absorption of omega-3 fatty acids from the fish oil and makes them more effective.
Taking fish oil before your meal might also help reduce any possible side effects, such as indigestion, nausea, belching, or diarrhea.
What to Avoid Taking With Fish Oil?
Fish oil, while beneficial to human health, can also have certain interactions with other drugs and supplements. These include:
- anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs
- blood pressure medications
- contraceptive drugs
- orlistat (Xenical, Alli)
- Vitamin E
Taking these items in combination with fish oil might increase the risk of bleeding, lower blood pressure more than expected, decrease absorption of fish oil fatty acids, or reduce vitamin E levels in the body.
Consult your doctor before taking any additional supplements while taking fish oil.
When should I take fish oil morning or night?
Fish oil can be taken at any time of day. However, for those who experience acid reflux, it is recommended to split the dosage into two smaller doses in the morning and evening. This will help to spread out any digestive discomfort associated with taking fish oil in a single dose.
Do you need to take fish oil everyday?
Generally speaking, no. If you are healthy and have a balanced diet that includes regular servings of fatty fish such as salmon or cod, then it is not necessary to take a daily fish oil supplement. A moderate intake of these foods should provide all the omega-3 fatty acids your body needs.
Can omega fish oil have side effects?
While the side effects of omega-3 supplements are usually mild, they can include unpleasant taste, bad breath, bad-smelling sweat, headache, nausea, diarrhea and heartburn. In addition, some research has suggested that high levels of long chain omega-3s in the blood may be linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Who should not take fish oil?
People who have a fish or shellfish allergy should avoid taking fish oil supplements due to the risk of an allergic reaction. If necessary, individuals with these types of allergies should consult their doctor before taking any type of fish oil supplement. Anyone who has experienced any kind of adverse effect from taking fish oil in the past should also consult their doctor before considering taking it again.
What happens if you take fish oil everyday?
When taken regularly, fish oil helps boost the release of serotonin – a neurotransmitter that can improve social behaviour and lift your mood. Additionally, it can help reduce brain inflammation and increase the effectiveness of serotonin.
How many capsules of fish oil a day?
Generally speaking, to meet the recommended 500 mg EPA and DHA daily intake, it is suggested to take two 1000 mg fish oil softgels per day. Each of these softgels will provide around 300 mg of Omega-3s.
Can I take fish oil on an empty stomach?
It is advised that you take your fish oil capsules with a meal for the best absorption. This is because the omega-3s found in fish oil, such as EPA and DHA, are fats and will be absorbed more effectively if other fats are eaten at the same time. Taking them on an empty stomach may not allow for full absorption.