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What Does Fish Oil Do For Your Body?

Updated on May 16, 2011

Fish oil provides vital nutrients that clinical studies have shown support most of our bodies systems.

Everything from our hearts to our brains.

So What's Special About Fish Oils

The unique nutrients are Omega-3 fatty acids. You may have seen other supplements that are designed to provide Omega-3s. Flax seed oil supplements for example.

The problem with flax seed is that it provides only ALA, the shortest of these long-chained fatty acids.

Humans can convert ALAs to the longer chain DHA and EPA within their bodies. But the conversion process is inefficient at best, and may be totally lacking in some individuals.

And it's with DHA and EPA where the majority of the health benefits have been found.

Research has shown that ALA supplements do not increase circulating blood levels of DHA. Probably because most of us get enough ALA in our diets anyway.

Why Is DHA So Important?

DHA is a primary component of the central nervous system. It is essential for normal brain development and function. Depressive disorders have been linked to a lack of DHA in the diet.

The eyes are connected to the brain via the optic nerve; specifically the nerves are connected to the retinas. Much of the retina is fat. 60% of the fat in the retina is DHA.

Research has shown that children’s eyesight develops faster when they get plenty of DHA. There is also some evidence that increased intake of DHA reduces the risk of age-related eye diseases: cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

So, besides the brain and the eyes, what does fish oil do for your body?

Omega-3s can help to reduce inflammation throughout your body. Not only is that beneficial for arthritis and other painful conditions, it may also reduce your risk of heart disease (see how does fish oil reduce cholesterol?).

The typical American diet provides plenty of Omega-6s. Those are converted to inflammatory hormones. Researchers insist that the popular diet does not provide enough balancing Omega-3s, which are converted into less inflammatory hormones and compete with the 6s for absorption.

In one example, researchers concluded that some Americans get 40 times more Omega-6s than 3s. They say that sets their bodies up to be chronically inflamed and very unhealthy.

So Fish Oil Actually Does Plenty For The Body

In short, it can improve the health of your heart, brain and joints. Your cholesterol level and blood profiles may be healthier. Your memory may improve. You might just find it easier getting out of bed every morning.

And that's just the areas in which research has shown benefits so far.

Pierce Holman is a health and wellness fan, and runs the website 'Omega Three Benefits'. It deserves a site all of it's own because omega three is one of the most exciting nutritional finds of modern times.

Don't miss my guide to the dangers of mercury in fish oil capsules - it's a real eye opener when you realise why Governments say to limit our fish intake.

Do you currently use an Omega-3 supplement?

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    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      This is a very helpful, healthful hub. Thank you for it, and I plan to make fish a large part of our meals on a regular basis. God Bless You.