Fish oil comes from fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and tuna. It also comes from bivalve shellfish such as mussels and oysters. Fish oil has two important omega-3 fatty acids—docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)—substances the body can’t produce on its own. The benefits of fish oil come from the omega-3 fatty acids and the ability of the fatty acids to be converted into prostaglandins, the signaling molecules in cell membranes that are critical to muscle activity and cell development.
According to the Mayo Clinic, research on the use of fish oil in its role against heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and rheumatoid arthritis is largely positive:
- Research shows that eating dietary sources of fish oil twice a week is associated with a reduced risk of developing heart disease.
- Multiple studies report modest reductions in blood pressure in people who take fish oil supplements.
- There appears to be a slight improvement in high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol, although an increase in levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol also was observed. And there is strong evidence that fish oil significantly reduces blood triglyceride levels.*
- Studies suggest that fish oil supplements might help reduce pain, improve morning stiffness, and relieve joint tenderness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.*
Finding the Fish Oil Balance
Men’s Health points out that it’s a balancing act. Through a normal (omnivore) diet, we get a lot of omega-6 from red meat, but very little omega-3. Maybe the fish lobby needs to up its game?
It’s when the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 is off that potential issues may come up. If the omega-6 is too high, it can promote the origination of many diseases: cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. By supplementing with fish oil, which isn’t necessary if your diet already includes fatty fish, the balance in omegas is restored, and you should begin to notice some of the benefits.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) adds that there’s evidence that people who eat seafood have generally healthier lifestyles.
If you’re not getting enough fish oil in your diet, supplements might be in order. Active Life Daily offers a range of vitamins, multivitamins, and mineral supplements. Consult with your physician or a registered dietitian/nutritionist to find out which options might be appropriate for you.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.