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What You Should Know About the Health Benefits of Fish Oil for Women

Updated on May 14, 2012

Recently, media outlets have paid a lot of attention to the potential health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids derived from oily fish. These compounds can reduce high blood pressure, triglycerides and other heart health risk factors. They can also play a part in reducing the risk of cognitive and attention problems. In addition to benefits for the general population, however, fish supplements can do a lot for female patients. Here are some of the health benefits of fish oil for women.

Cancer Risk Reduction

DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in oily fish, is effective for inhibiting the growth of cancerous cervical cells caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV. Fish oil can also help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by about a third in women both before and after menopause. In some cases, taking this supplement can even slow down the spread of cancer, acting as an important part of treatment.

Premenstrual Symptom Relief

Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is known for causing emotional instability, bloating, pain, fatigue, cramps and other uncomfortable symptoms. The omega-3s found in many fish help to alleviate these feelings. The body converts them to substances called prostaglandins, which help reduce cramping and pain. Fish-based capsules can even help cut down on breast tenderness and the migraines that some women get during their cycles.

Reduced Depression Risk

Fish products are effective at reducing the risk of suicide in severely depressed patients and helping people with ADHD focus more clearly. They provide special benefit for women, however. Taking the appropriate supplements can reduce depression in peri-menopausal and post-menopausal patients. It also helps reduce the risk of postpartum depression after childbirth.

Improved Health in Pregnancy

Women who choose to have children may wish to include oily fish or supplements in their diets. The DHA in fish oils is shared with the fetus before birth. It also passes through the breast milk, potentially giving babies better cognitive development and a reduced risk of allergies and some skin diseases. During pregnancy, women who take omega-3s lower their chance of high blood pressure in the later months. They also have a reduced risk of early labor and infant birth defects.

Heart Health

While everyone can benefit from fish oil's ability to protect the heart and cardiovascular system, this advantage is very important for women. Female patients who have already gone through menopause are at a high risk for stroke and other cardiovascular problems. By taking fish oil to lower triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure, they reduce the risk of a heart attack or other cardiovascular problem. Women with heart rhythm problems can also benefit from this kind of supplementation.


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    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 5 years ago from Spain

      Good hub. I´m going to buy some when I next go shopping.

    • dr stephen chan profile image

      dr stephen chan 5 years ago from U.S.A

      Yes fish oils and omega 3 fatty acids are very beneficial, also for those who suffer from type 2 daibetes!