Fish oil is extracted from the tissue of fish and is mostly obtained from fatty species such as mackerel, tuna, anchovies, herring, and sardines. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating one or two portions of fish every week. Omega-3 fatty acids EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) are the primary benefits in fish oil. While eating fresh fish is ideal, and taking fish oil secondary, those who do not eat fish can find plant-based or synthetic omega-3 supplements.

Heart health

One of the leading causes of death worldwide is heart disease. Many studies have revealed that people who eat fish have a lower risk of heart disease. Fish oil may not be able to prevent heart disease or stroke, but it can reduce the associated risks. Fish oil increases levels of good cholesterol reduces blood pressure, lowers triglycerides and prevents plaque from forming in arteries and hardening them. In people who already have arterial plaques, it helps to make them more stable. It may also reduce abnormal heart rhythms that have been known to bring on heart attacks in some cases.



Eye health

Omega-3s are important to eye health. This inevitably declines with age, and you may suffer from conditions such as age-related macular degeneration. This is a leading global cause of permanent damage to the eye and blindness. Several studies have found that the DHA in fish oil can improve eye health. The DHA in fish oil may help to protect your eyes from conditions like macular degeneration or dry eye syndrome. It promotes healthy blood vessels and circulation in the eyes. DHA is one of the main components of the retina and people who don’t get enough DHA may find that they experience vision problems.



Brain health

Fish oil is a big player in brain health, according to a number of studies. One study, for instance, showed that lack of omega-3s could limit fetal brain growth and brain growth in early childhood. The DHA in fish oil seems to play a key role in the development of a healthy nervous system. Once someone has been diagnosed with a brain disease, it is not easy to come back from it. What studies have shown is that taking fish oil earlier in life may help with memory retention. Fish oil improves cognition in young adults and taking it from a young age may just lower risks of cognitive decline and development of conditions like dementia.



Bone health

Your body builds bone mass until your 30s, and it’s critical to get essential minerals and vitamins into your system while you’re young. As you get older, your bones lose minerals and tend to break more easily. If they break when you are older, it takes you longer to recover. A recent study using rats found that increased dosage of DHA gave test subjects healthier, stronger bones and increased the mineral content. Higher omega-3 intake seems to be linked to higher bone density which may help with bone diseases such as osteoarthritis or osteoporosis. Calcium has long been recognized as being important for bone health, but omega-3s also have a part to play.



Behavioral disorders in children

Behavioral disorders like ADHA (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) can interfere with learning and cause significant academic and social problems. Children suffering from behavioral disorders are often unable to focus and pay attention. Fish oil is thought to have a positive effect on children with behavioral disorders. This makes sense as about 60% of the brain is composed of fats. One study revealed that supplementing with fish oil improved perceived impulsiveness, hyperactivity, focus, and aggression in children. Another study found that increasing DHA intake improved behavior and literacy in children with ADHD. It appears that a lack of DHA may be contributing to the symptoms of ADHD.



Anxiety and depression

It has been predicted that depression may be the second leading cause of disease by the year 2030. It appears that people with severe depression have lower levels of omega-3 in their blood. Supplementing with fish oil may help to reduce symptoms of depression according to studies. Those rich in EPA seem to be more effective. It is interesting that lower rates of depression exist in countries, such as Japan, where more fish is consumed. In 2013 a study was published showing that fish oil reversed depression and anxiety-like behavior changes in rats. The study emphasized the importance of supplementing with fish oil at critical stages of brain development.



Skin health

The health of your skin declines as you age, particularly if you have had plenty of sun exposure. Research is beginning to show how important diet can be in maintaining healthy skin and treating problems like eczema, acne, and psoriasis. Fish oil can help you to keep your skin healthy. The DHA in the fish oil is a structural component of the skin. It is responsible for the health of cell membranes. When cell membranes are healthy, the skin is soft, supple, moist and free of wrinkles. Some skin disorders such as dermatitis and psoriasis may benefit from fish oil supplementation.



Inflammation and inflammatory diseases

Inflammation is a sign your system is trying to fight off an infection or an injury. Chronic inflammation occurs at low levels over a lengthy period. Fish oil can help with diseases where chronic inflammation is experienced. It reduces the inflammation and helps with the symptoms of the disease. It appears to reduce the production of molecules linked to inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is just one of these diseases where use of fish oil can reduce joint pain and stiffness. One study showed that taking fish oil supplements worked just as well as some anti-inflammatory medications in reducing the pain of arthritis and was a safer alternative.




When individuals have a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30, they are defined as obese. Obesity increases risks of some other diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Visceral fat is body fat stored in the abdomen and close to several important organs. This fat is regarded as dangerous fat and has been associated with a wide variety of health problems. Fish oil seems to have the potential to help burn this fat. Overall, adding fish oil to your healthy diet and exercise program is a good idea if you want to lose weight.




Asthma is a chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide. They struggle to breathe and to experience shortness of breath, wheezing and tightening of the chest. Studies have shown that fish and fish oil supplements may be helpful in preventing and treating asthma. They can reduce the production of the antibodies that cause the allergic reaction in people with milder cases of asthma. One study found that adults with mild-to-moderate asthma who took a fish oil supplement daily for three weeks benefited. They showed a 64% improvement in post-exercise lung function.



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