Fish oil can help keep your heart healthy. Researchers found that oil from fatty and cold-water fish, such as tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel, help fight diseases such as psoriasis or arthritis. At Handsome & Men we explain the benefits and properties of fish oil and many other curiosities.
Why fish oil is good for your health
After hearing in so many places that you have to reduce the consumption of fats because they are not good, you may think of oils as enemies more than friends. But not all fats are the same.
You’ve probably also read that polyunsaturated fats are better for your health than saturated fats (which come mostly from animals, like butter). But even in the world of polyunsaturated fats there are differences.
The polyunsaturated fats in vegetable and grain oils are made up of substances that scientists call omega-6 fatty acids.
In contrast, the polyunsaturated fats in cold-water fish are made up of omega-3 fatty acids; of these, two of the most significant are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
When we introduce any of these fatty acids into our diet , once inside the body they are transformed into important substances, such as prostaglandins, which influence cell functions and the regulation of the cardiovascular, immune (defenses), digestive and reproductive systems. in addition to having anti-inflammatory effects.
But the types of substances made by EPA and DHA are different from the substances made by the omega-6 fatty acids in vegetable oil. As far as your health is concerned, these substances formed from fish oil are superior in every way to other fats.
Omega-3 has an important role in the formation of cell membranes and makes up most of the brain tissues.
A series of studies conducted by prestigious universities and centers showed that Eskimos (who eat a diet high in cholesterol and fat) had, despite this, low rates of heart disease. How is it possible?. The reason was sought in the fact that Eskimos eat a lot of fish and therefore a lot of fish oil.
Fish oil benefits
The oil bluefish excellent brings benefits to the human body thanks to its properties. Its regular consumption has been shown by scientific studies to help improve and / or combat the following ailments:
- Reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Lower triglyceride levels.
- Slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Relieve psoriasis and eczema.
- Lower blood pressure
- Avoid premature births.
- Treat rheumatoid osteoarthritis.
- Fight cancer.
- Treat Raynaud’s disease.
Let’s see it in more detail and why:
Protects the heart and arteries (heart disease)
“It’s a safe bet: Eating more omega-3 acids from fish or fish oil can help prevent heart disease,” explains Dr. Artemis P. Simopoulos.
In a study involving 12,866 men, ages 35 to 57, at high risk for recurrent heart disease, men who ate the most omega-3 fatty acids were 40 percent less likely to have die from heart disease.
According to Dr. Alesander Leaf, a professor of clinical medicine at Harvard Medical School, fish oil fights heart disease on several fronts; it is very likely to cause the blood to clot less and the blood vessels to be wider.
Reduces the level of triglycerides in the blood
It also helps the body eliminate harmful blood fats, known as triglycerides. It also safely prevents injury to the arterial walls that harbor cholesterol deposits.
Lowers blood pressure
Fish oil helps lower blood pressure in people with mild hypertension. A study involving 32 men with slightly high blood pressure found that blood pressure decreased in the 8 men who received a high dose of fish oil for 4 weeks.
Fish oil also appears to help keep the coronary arteries open after they have been dilated with a procedure known as balloon angioplasty.
In a study carried out at the University of Laval and the Quebec Institute of Cardiology, both in Canada, 205 people participated; those who got a large dose of fish oil daily before and after surgery later had less arterial blockage.
“We are able to reduce the rate of re-obstruction after angioplasty by a third, by means of fish oil supplements,” says the doctor.
Louis Roy, director of the aforementioned Institute and one of the authors of the study. “So far, nothing has proven to be as effective in this regard.”
Combat the symptoms of osteoarthritis
Not all the benefits of fish oil have to do with the heart and arteries. There is some evidence, for example, that these types of fats can slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
In a study done in Australia, 23 people with arthritis who took fish oil daily for 3 months had less inflammation in their joints, and could grasp objects with greater force than people who did not take fish oil.
Treat eczema and psoriasis
Other studies have shown that these fish oil supplements also help treat skin problems like psoriasis and eczema.
In a 12-week study conducted at the California Dermatological Research Foundation in Santa Monica, USA, some people in a group of 24 psoriasis patients took 6 1-gram capsules of fish oil a day, such as supplement to their standard treatment, with a medication derived from vitamin A. People who took fish oil improved more than those who did not.
“Fish oil also intensifies the effects of light therapy for skin problems,” says Dr. Nicholas J. Lowe.
Various studies show that a high daily dose of fish oil supplements would help control diarrhea and ulcerative colitis pain . However, people with colitis should not undertake this treatment on their own; medical supervision is necessary.
Avoid premature births
Danish researchers indicate that fish oil may also help prevent premature birth.
A study in Copenhagen, which included 8,000 pregnant women, found that fish oil can increase the weight of the fetus, prolonging the pregnancy and preventing premature birth.
“Low fish consumption was a strong risk factor for preterm birth and low birth weight,” says Sjurour Frooi Olsen, researcher at the Statens Serum Institute (United States). However, pregnant women should check with their doctor before taking any supplements.
Finally, many animal studies have shown that very high doses of fish oil can slow the development or interrupt cancer. For now, this has remained on the “wish” list for therapeutic benefits, as scientists are still not sure what effects fish oil has on human tumors.
Treat Raynaud’s disease
Imagine that you are 5 years old, you live in a very cold place and you are unable to spend more than a minute outdoors in the middle of winter. It’s not an easy life, is it?
“This boy’s fingers and toes can, at first, become blue and painful during the brief minute they are exposed to the cold,” says Dr. Margarita M. Woodbury, physician and psychiatrist; his young patient.
You have Raynaud’s disease, a blood vessel disorder that causes a cold; extreme and loss of sensation in feet and hands. He treated the boy’s Raynaud’s disease with a daily dose of fish oil supplements.
Just 6 weeks later, the child could be outdoors for 30 minutes. Once he was able to go out and play, the doctor notes, his mood and social life improved.
Researchers theorize that fish oil helps reduce blood vessel spasms that cause blood to flow to the fingers and toes; and stagnate there.
After 3 years of taking supplements, the boy was able to tolerate the cold for 3 hours, and today he can even go skiing with his family. “The quality of life for this child increased tremendously,” says Dr. Woodbury.
“It was really unbelievable.” The boy had no side effects that could be caused by fish oil, but doctors warn that treatment of Raynaud’s with fish oil is still in experimentation and should only be done under strict medical supervision.
Contraindications of taking fish oil
Heart disease research may be enough to motivate you to start taking fish oil supplements. But these are not appropriate for everyone.
Studies have shown that fish oil can increase blood sugar and therefore should only be taken by diabetics under medical supervision.
The same happens with people taking blood thinning medication. Because of its properties to prevent blood clotting, fish oil can increase the effect of these medications to a dangerous degree.
How to take fish oil
Fish is a healthy alternative to meat, and because of the potential problems with supplements, many experts say that it is best to obtain fish oil directly from the source; which means that you have to eat fish 3 times a week.
And, while any type of fish contains at least some type of oil, fish that live in cold waters such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines and the rest of the oily fish have in abundance the type of oils that requires your health.
The more you substitute fish for hamburger and pork chop dishes, the better. Indeed, some researchers believe that you will not benefit enough from fish oil unless you stop consuming other types of fats, such as animal fats.
What dose of fish oil is adequate
To treat certain diseases, large doses of omega-3 fatty acids may be necessary. To get this amount of fish oil, you would have to eat fish all day.
“In these cases, fish oil supplements are a suitable substitute, ” says Dr. Simopoulos. “For disease prevention, eating fish 3 to 4 times a week is convenient; fish supplements are also suitable substitutes, ”he advises.
“A good dose of omega-3 fatty acids is one gram a day, or 3 grams of fish oil”; continue commenting.
Three one-gram fish oil capsules containing 180 milligrams of EPA and 120 milligrams of DHA may provide the most appropriate amount for your health.
It is true that in studies it appears that EPA is more beneficial than DHA, but it is likely that DHA can be converted to EPA once inside the body. So, don’t waste time looking for supplements with high levels of EPA.
“What we have to look for is a supplement that contains fish oil and vitamin E, because fish oil can go bad quickly without the vitamin,” says Dr. Sheldon Saúl Hendler.
Another reason to look for a combination capsule is that several studies have found that large doses of fish oil without vitamin E can lead to a deficiency of this essential vitamin.
Blue Fish Oil Technical Sheet
- Food sources: cold-water fish such as anchovies, anchovies, mackerel, pomfret, chicharro, tuna, salmon, sardines or herring.
- Possible signs of deficiency: There are no known signs of fish oil deficiency.
- Warnings about its use: experts recommend that it is better to eat fish than to take capsules, but these are a good option for those who do not like fish. If you opt for the fish oil capsules.
- Dosage: keep in mind that consumption should be limited to 3 grams of fish oil per day (equivalent to 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids).
- Who is at risk of deficiency: As fish oil is not considered essential for the body, its deficiency is unlikely.
- Contraindications: fish oil possibly increases blood sugar, so diabetics should consult their doctor before taking any type of dietary supplement, as do people taking anticoagulant medications.