What is Fish Oil?
Fish oil comes from the tissues of oily fish and is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids. Fish containing omega-3 fatty acids do not innately produce these compounds but accumulate them by consuming algae. The USDA recommends for adults to consume 8 ounces of seafood per week based on a 2000-calorie diet. Fish oil capsules are a good alternative for individuals who dislike the taste of fish or don’t consume the recommended amount of seafood per week.
PureBulk derives Fish Oil softgels from sardine, anchovy, and salmon sources.
What are Omega 3 Fatty Acids?
Omega 3s are essential fatty acids that the body must obtain through dietary sources. The primary three types are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA can convert into EPA but at a low and inefficient rate. As a result, consuming ALA food sources isn’t enough to meet the body’s needs for omega 3s. EPA and DHA are precursors to eicosanoids that help reduce inflammation and lower triglycerides.
Foods High in Omega 3
ALA comes from plant sources, such as flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, canola oil, and soybeans. However, they do not provide sufficient omega 3 fatty acids. EPA and DHA most often come from fish and fish oil. However, meat, eggs, and dairy products also contain these essential fatty acids. Individuals should avoid consuming certain predatory fish. They’re at the top of their food chain and can accumulate toxins from consuming other contaminated fish. Some of the best choices for fish include anchovies, catfish, flounder, herring, salmon, sardines, freshwater trout, and light canned tuna.
Potential Fish Oil Benefits
Fish Oil for Fat Loss and Muscle Growth
Omega 3 fatty acids may support fat loss efforts. Animal research shows that fish oil converts fat storage cells in the body into fat-burning cells. The fish oil supplements promoted fat metabolism by stimulating digestive tract receptors. Research also shows that fish oil supplements exert positive effects on the areas of the brain that regulate food intake. Fish oil may promote life-long fitness, too. Muscle mass begins to diminish after the age of 60 in men and women alike. Human clinical trials show that essential fatty acids stimulate muscle protein synthesis and improve muscle mass in sedentary and resistance-training older adults. Research also found that essential fatty acids improve the rate of muscle growth in older adults performing resistance exercises.
Fish Oil for Triglycerides
Fish oil may benefit heart health due to its interactions with cholesterol and triglycerides. A plethora of studies reported that fish oil supplements help boost HDL (good) cholesterol and may reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol in some individuals. It also has a dramatic effect on triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are the primary components that make up body fat. Plaque may build up on artery walls if triglyceride levels are too high for too long, causing the arteries to narrow and harden. Research shows that fish oil can reduce triglyceride levels by up to 30%. As a result, fish oil supplements may inhibit plaque buildup in the arteries by lowering triglycerides.
Potential Fish Oil Benefits for Skin
Fish oil may support healthy skin in several ways. Numerous studies have reported that omega 3s exert protective effects against UVA and UVB rays. Research participants also experienced a dramatic increase in their ability to resist sunburns after taking EPA for three months. Unsurprisingly, omega 3s help protect against sun damage and inhibit collagen loss due to sun exposure. Omega 3s may also help improve acne by reducing inflammation and managing oil production. Omega 3s further support skin health by enhancing the skin barrier to lock in moisture and shut out irritants. Clinical trials also found that omega 3 fatty acids helped individuals with dry, red, or itchy skin.
Potential Fish Oil Benefits for Hair
Several studies have examined the effects of foil oil supplements on hair health. One animal study reported that fish oil supplements stimulated hair growth. Another human trial noted significant increases in hair growth and a reduction in hair loss in women. Another study found that women taking essential fatty acids and antioxidants had less hair loss and improved hair density.
Potential Omega 3 Benefits for Stress and Mood
Numerous studies underscore the effects of omega 3 fatty acids on mood and stress. Individuals regularly taking omega 3 supplements experience more stable moods. Other research shows omega 3s help improve low moods and relieve nervousness. Some participants in these trials experienced relief with as little as 200mg of omega 3s per day. Of the three omega 3 fatty acids, EPA appears to have the most effect on mood.
Potential Fish Oil Benefits for Women
Fish oil supplements may provide women some relief from menstrual pain. Research shows that women who take omega 3 supplements experience milder menstrual pain than those that don’t. One study reported that women with moderate to severe menstrual pain experienced dramatic improvements after taking fish oil supplements.
Potential Fish Oil Side Effects
Most individuals can take fish oil supplements without experiencing significant side effects. Some may experience mild effects, such as a fishy taste in the mouth, nausea, indigestion, or diarrhea. Fish oil may interact with some medications, including blood pressure medication, anticoagulants, and contraceptives. Individuals taking blood pressure medication should consult a physician before taking fish oil supplements, as they may lower blood pressure. Omega 3s may exert a blood thinning effect on some individuals. As such, anyone preparing for surgery should stop taking fish oil supplements one to two weeks before their procedure. Contraceptives may reduce fish oil’s effects on triglycerides.
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