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Omega 3 Fish Oil Benefits - Proven Advantages

Updated on July 26, 2017
Omega 3 fish oil capsule
Omega 3 fish oil capsule

Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary to the health of the body. As an essential nutrient, Omega-3's cannot be made by the body but instead must be ingested by eating foods containing them. Fish, and in particular fatty fish (albacore tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring), are the best sources of this needed nutrition but walnuts and flax seed also contain Omega-3's.

Clinical evidence supports the use of omega-3 fatty acids to aid in treating inflammation, heart disease, arthritis, colon cancer and to lower blood pressure.

Benefit #1 – Lowered Inflammation

Omega-3's aid in lowering inflammation in the body. This is good news for over the age of forty—as a body ages, the possibility of hidden inflammation rises. Adding an omega-3 supplement to the diet, or increasing the amount of fish eaten weekly, can assist the body’s battle with inflammation.

Benefit #2 – Lowered Heart Risks

Adding fish to the diet at 2 to 3 meals a week is recommended by the American Heart Association. Research shows that Omega-3's aid heart health in general by lowering the risk of arrhythmia, decreasing the levels of triglycerides and slowing the growth rate of plaque.

Benefit #3 – Increases “Good” Cholesterol

The Mayo Clinic includes foods high in Omega-3's in their list of foods that lower cholesterol. The Inuit Indians are an example of the power of Omega-3 fatty acids in controlling cholesterol. Their diets are very high in fish and low in meat and other Omega-6 fatty acids–when tested their levels of HDL (good cholesterol) are high and their triglyceride levels (fats found in the blood) are decreased. Fish oil (Onega-3) supplements have been shown to lower triglyceride levels.

Benefit #4 – Lowered Blood Pressure

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have given the grade of ‘A’ for the use of Omega-3's in lowering blood pressure. Human trials have shown that DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid) may have a greater benefit than EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid) in aiding blood pressure. Higher dosage levels may be needed to obtain dramatic changes in pressure and so the NIH recommends a doctor’s supervision when supplementing with Omega-3's.

Benefit #5 – Lowers Pain of Arthritis

Morning stiffness and joint tenderness can be lowered by increasing the amount of Omega-3's in the diet. Studies have been conducted on patients with rheumatoid arthritis using fish oil supplements daily for up to three months. Results show a lowering of symptoms particularly if taken along with NSAIDs (ibuprofen or aspirin). Testing beyond three months have not been evaluated at this date.

Benefit #6 – Slowing Colon Cancer

Preliminary studies on the use of Omega-3's to fight colon cancer have shown promise. Research has found that in those predisposed to cancerous bowel growth, the omega-3 called EPA may have the most benefit. The omega-3 supplements had little to no side effects compared to the traditional pharmaceuticals given for the same symptoms.

References for this article

American Heart Association Omega-3 Recommendations

The Top 5 Foods That Lower Cholesterol

Omega-3 Fatty Acids—Uses Based On Scientific Evidence

Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Reduce Risk of Colon Cancer

Omega 3 Curbs Precancerous Growths in Those Prone to Bowel Cancer, Study Suggests


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