Does Fish Oil Have Beneficial Effects On Health?

Many health researchers claim that fish oil has many beneficial effects on the health of an individual. In high doses, fish oil can significantly lower the risks of developing multiple health problems. One of the primary reasons why fish oil should be a supplement to improve your overall well-being is that it is a healthy source of fat (omega-3 fatty acids). 

Omega 3 fatty acids belong to the group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are known to be important for multiple numbers of functions in the body. It is found as a rich source in foods like fatty fish and shellfish, but can also be found in some vegetable oils or as a dietary supplement. 

Primarily there are three omega-3 fatty acids namely – alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Mainly, EPA and DHA have been identified as health-promoting. 

According to research, in the United States, the fish oil supplement is a natural product that is commonly taken by both adults and children. The supplements of fish oil are generally considered to be safe and do not have any serious side effects. When side effects occur, they are just minor gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and indigestion. 

Over the past several decades, evidence has indicated that the intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a significant decrease in all-cause mortality. It has multiple health benefits such as: 

Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common diseases that leads to an increase in the total number of deaths. Evidence has demonstrated that the intake of fish oil can improve health, primarily by reducing cardiovascular disease and its associated risk factors. The EPA and DHA in the fish oil prevents cardiovascular health by competing with arachidonic acid and lipoxygenase synthesis, resulting in beneficial effects on health. It has an impact on almost every factor that causes cardiovascular disease such as:

  • High low density lipoprotein cholesterol – The fish oil have positive effects on blood lipids, consistently a reduction in low-density lipoprotein and triglyceride concentration. High concentration of low density lipoprotein cholesterol is a common risk factor for the development of the cardiovascular disease. 
  • High blood pressure – High pressure on the walls of the arteries are considered to be an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Through various mechanisms, fish oil has shown to reduce hypertension or high blood pressure and its effects on the health.   
  • Clotting – The formation of blood clots within the blood vessels, often known as thrombosis is a major cause of heart problems as it prevents the supply of blood to the heart. The fish oil prevents the formation of blood clots by preventing the small cells in the blood from sticking together that results in clot formation. 

Also Read: Spinach – Benefits and Nutrition Facts!

Mental Health

Multiple studies have shown the correlation between omega-3 fatty acids and cognitive function and overall mental health status. Fish oil is said to be beneficial in the treatment of various mental health conditions such as depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 

  • Depression – It is one of the most common mental illnesses which is not only associated with sadness but with something more than that. It is a condition that is characterized by persistent sadness, and low mood to an extent that it significantly impairs the quality of life and the ability to do daily activities. Studies have demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acids can help to elevate mood in depressed people. The high plasma concentration of EPA is associated with beneficial clinical outcomes. 
  • Alzheimer’s diseaseAlzheimer’s disease is a psychological disorder that alters almost every aspect of the cognitive system. It significantly affects the parts of the brain that are responsible for thinking, memorizing, and regulating behavioral patterns. Studies suggest that fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids may protect the nervous system. They protect against the development of various mental health problems, like Alzheimer’s. 
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – It is a brain disorder that is characterized by a lack of concentration, doing things without first thinking about them, and extreme restlessness. Fish oil supplements can help in reducing the symptoms of this disease. 

Bone Health 

Multiple studies have been conducted to investigate the role of fish oil supplements in keeping bones healthy and it was observed that fish oil contains a wide range of properties that could help to maintain bone health and prevent the development of bone and joint disorders such as arthritis and osteoporosis. 

  • Arthritis – It is a condition that is characterized by the inflammation of joints. Arthritis is a common problem that can affect any joint, which is accompanied by pain that can affect the ability to do daily activities. Arthritis is an inflammatory disorder and fish oil is said to have anti-inflammatory properties. When EPA and DHA compete with arachidonic acid and lipoxygenase synthesis, it causes anti-inflammatory effects, resulting in improved arthritis. 
  • Osteoporosis – It is one of the most common bone disorders in aged people and it is characterized by weak and fragile bones, which are likely to break following the shortfall. It occurs due to low bone mineralization. The omega-3 fatty acids are known to have a positive effect on bone health by making them healthy and strong. 

Metabolic Health 

The term metabolism indicate the way our body processes food as a source of energy and when some problem occurs in this process, metabolic disorder occurs. There are multiple metabolic disorders, diabetes mellitus and obesity are the most commonly occurring metabolic disorder. 

Fish oil is also beneficial in treating or delaying the complications associated with diabetes mellitus. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder which is characterized by elevated glucose level in the blood. Normally, the glucose is carried to every cell in the body to use it as a source of energy, but when it stays or gets accumulated in the blood for too long, it causes its level to become too high. 

The glucose level in the blood is regulated by insulin and any problem in the secretion or using this hormone, leads to diabetes. It is of two types – Type 1 diabetes (when pancreas produces very less or no insulin) and type 2 diabetes (when there is a lack of insulin production or the inability of body to use it effectively). Type 2 diabetes is also known as insulin resistance.  

Fish oil is primarily known to treat type 2 diabetes by improving the functioning of the body to use the produced insulin effectively. Studies have shown that people who consume dietary fish oil are less likely to suffer from insulin resistance. 

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Janet Fudge

Janet Fudge writes on general health topics for She holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Health with a major in epidemiology. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Janet actively volunteered in vaccination drives throughout the state of Iowa. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two children.