Fish oil is an oil derivative from the fatty layers of cold water fish. This oil is rich in the long chain omega three fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which are crucial to human health.
According to research piloted by Harvard University, omega-3 fatty acid deficiency is officially one of the top 10 causes of death in America, taking the lives of up to 96,000 people each year. Ideally, people would get these fatty acids from their diet; high in fish, etc. However, unfortunately, this is rarely the case, as such people often need a supplement to cover the gap between diet and recommended daily intake.
Benefits of fish oil
The European Journal of Neuroscience published a study in 2013 showing that fish oil reversed all anxiety-like and depression-like behaviour changes induced in rats.
This could be due to the fish oil’s anti-inflammatory nature, and links between inflammation in the brain and anxiety and depression.
EPA and DHA have been lengthily studied for Rheumatoid Arthritis. A 2010 meta-analysis found that fish oil meaningfully decreased joint tenderness and stiffness in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients and reduced or removed NSAID use. Preliminary studies indicate it may have a comparable effect on osteoarthritis. A 2005 study of people with Rheumatoid Arthritis showed enhanced positive effects when fish oil supplements were used in combination with olive oil.
“We’ve known for a long while that omega-3 fatty acid and some antioxidants can be beneficial to people with a broad range of health problems, as well as protective for healthy people,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “Now, we know that the effects of these supplements may extend to Alzheimer’s disease as well.”
In 2007, a Japanese study, involving almost 19,000 participants, showed that omega-3 fatty acids caused risk reductions of 19% in the main cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke.
More recently, in 2016, researchers at Stanford University analysed the data from 19 studies that included nearly 46,000 people from 16 countries. Over time, 7,973 participants experienced their first heart attack, of which 2,781 died as a result. The researchers realised that individuals who had higher concentrations of omega-3 in their blood were close to 10% less likely to pass away from a heart attack compared with people who had lower blood omega-3 levels.
People with depression often tend to have lower blood levels of omega-3s and benefit from fish oil supplements or increased fatty fish intake. Fish oil can help prevent depression and improve overall emotional well-being.
When healthy adults increase their intake of EPA and DHA, it enhances the volume of areas of the brain that control depression and mood.
When pre-teens with major depressive disorder were given supplemental DHA, there was a 40% decrease in depressive symptoms.
Omega-3 fats nourish the hair, support hair thickening and reduce inflammation that can lead to hair loss.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology evaluated the effects of a six-month supplementation with omega-3, omega-6 and antioxidants on hair loss. In the randomised, comparative study, 120 healthy female subjects with female pattern hair loss participated.
After six months of treatment, a photograph assessment demonstrated superior improvement in the supplemented group. Hair growth increased compared to the control group, and 89.9 percent of the participants involved reported a reduction in hair loss due to fish oil.
Fish oil is one of the most studied supplements on the market with a myriad of studies with supporting evidence of its useful abilities. We suggest dosing high, around 9 grams a day, to get the full benefit from this incredible supplement.