The popularity of consuming fish oil is due to its high content of omega 3, a fatty acid that is a protector of cardiovascular health. However, there is a great disparity of opinions about the properties and benefits of fish oil in our health. Likewise, there are notable discrepancies between theoretical studies and clinical trials. In any case, it should be considered as a dietary supplement and never as a substitute for any food or as a medicine in itself. It is a widely consumed dietary supplement around the world, just behind vitamins and minerals.
If you want to know what fish oil is, what it is for and its benefits, keep reading this article and you will get complete information.
What is fish oil for?
The fish oil dietary supplement is extracted from the fat of oily fish such as: tuna, herring, mackerel, sardines, salmon or trout. The consumption of this type of fish is considered essential for our body due to its contribution of omega 3 fatty acids and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are essential for cardiovascular health. Omega-3 also has anti-inflammatory properties that benefit those suffering from diseases related to arteriosclerosis and rheumatism. It also provides docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), to which the ability to reduce the level of triglycerides is attributed.
The combination of these acids is supposed to have the ability to strengthen the veins and arteries, in addition to helping to keep the blood free from clots, which is why they are considered a form of prevention of thrombosis, embolisms and strokes, as well as a treatment to lower blood pressure. However, it has more benefits and is used to improve more aspects of our health, as we will see below.
Fish oil properties
Surprising properties are attributed to fish oil, especially if consumed directly, including the consumption of oily fish in our diet at least twice a week. The properties of this food supplement are due to its composition. These are the main components of fish oil :
- High content of omega 3 and omega 6.
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
- Vitamins A, B, C, E and D.
In addition, in the case of dietary supplements in capsules, the vitamin content is usually increased and, in some cases, some minerals are added, such as zinc, iron and/or magnesium.
Thus, thanks to this nutritional composition, these are the main properties of fish oil:
- skin hydration
- stimulates the defenses
Benefits of fish oil
The benefits of fish oil are varied, mainly thanks to the omega fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Thus, fish oil is attributed, among others, the following benefits:
- Reduces the possibility of heart disease.
- Reduces the risk of suffering from diseases related to the coronary arteries.
- It improves the general health of the heart and prevents alterations in its rhythm.
- By lowering blood pressure, it helps regulate hypertension.
- It helps as prevention of thrombosis, embolisms and strokes.
- Improves joint stiffness in diseases such as arthritis and rheumatism.
- It has an anti-inflammatory effect, so it helps reduce internal inflammation when taken, but also on the skin or external when applied to it.
- Helps reduce bad cholesterol levels.
- Helps reduce triglyceride levels.
- It is beneficial to help balance blood glucose (diabetes).
- Its high oleic content favors the hydration of the skin and other tissues.
- Its topical application improves skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, and facilitates healing.
- Improves the appearance of skin and hair.
- It helps improve the immune system, that is, it stimulates the defenses, so it is used to prevent conditions, such as colds, and to facilitate the effect of some medical treatments.
How to take fish oil
The most effective way to take fish oil is by incorporating the consumption of oily fish into our diet, at least twice a week. Another way to consume fish oil is through dietary supplements that can be obtained at any pharmacy.
- You can find fish oil capsules with different concentration levels. There are also formulations made from different types of fish and with other added ingredients, such as vitamin complexes.
- You can buy fish oil in a dark or brown glass bottle or jar, since prolonged exposure to light spoils it. In this case, generally, you take a daily spoonful, up to a maximum of 3, either directly or mixed with other foods.
Fish oil contraindications
There are few contraindications to fish oil. Among those who should not take it, at least without the control of a doctor who prescribes it, we find:
- Those who cannot consume fish due to some intolerance or allergy problem.
- Those taking anticoagulant medications.
- People who take drugs to lower cholesterol.
- Patients taking blood pressure medications.
In any case, it is always advisable to consult a professional before including any supplement in our diet.