Are fish oil supplements beneficial?

In the past ten years, many Americans have turned to fish oil supplements in an attempt to prevent and manage heart disease. It has been statistically proven that fish oil is one of the most commonly consumed dietary supplements. Over 64% of Americans take this supplement on a daily basis. Fish oil is the fat or oil that is extracted from fish tissue, therefore it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acid makes up 30% of this supplement, the remaining 70% is made up of other fats. The main omega-3’s include icosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

May Support Heart Health. 

It has been scientifically proven that many risk factors for heart disease have been reduced by consuming fish or fish oil supplements. Fish oil can increase levels of good HDL cholesterol, however it is not shown to reduce bad LDL cholesterol. It can lower triglycerides by 20-35%. Small doses are shown to reduce blood pressure in those whose blood pressure is elevated. And finally it prevents the plaque that causes our arteries to harden. 

May Help Treat Mental Disorders

Our brain is made up of 65% fat. Most of this fat is omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids is necessary for smooth functioning. Many studies show that people with mental disorders have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplements can prevent the onset or improve the symptoms of mental disorder. 

May Aid Weight Loss

Around the world 39% of adults are overweight, and 13% are obese. Fish oil supplements have the ability to improve the composition of one’s body and when combined with diet or exercise can help one lose weight. However not all studies have shown that fish oil supplements had any effect at all. 

May Support Eye Health

Just like our brain, our eyes rely on omega-3 fatty acids. Studies show that people who do not consume enough omega-3 are more susceptible to eye disease. Moreover, eye health starts to decline in old age, which can lead to age-related macular degeneration. One study showed that consuming high doses of fish oil for 19 weeks improved vision tremendously.

-Sanaa Dalvi

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