To list all of the reasons why fish oil is good for us would take an entire book, we’ve been talking about how fish oil reduces inflammation and promotes joint health for years now; but that’s not all it does, let’s take a look at five of the top (other) reasons fish oil should be a part of your daily supplement routine.
Your body is exposed to a plethora of free-radicals on a daily basis; these free-radicals can cause permanent damage to your cells that could eventually lead to varying forms of cancer. Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables are the best protection against free radicals, but fish oil is also a great way to help protect yourself. A meta-analysis of 26 studies from the United States, Europe, and Asia, concluded that a higher consumption of the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in fish oil was associated with a 14% lower risk for breast cancer than that of folks who consume lower levels of PUFA.
It’s well documented that the two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil: EPA & DHA, help reduce the risk of heart disease. It does this by helping lower cholesterol levels, the levels of fat in the blood (triglycerides), and help prevent, or even treat, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Good blood pressure numbers are an important part of keeping healthy. Most people who have above average or high blood pressure get a prescription and don’t think twice about it, but there are natural options. Fish oil has been shown to help lower systolic numbers by up to -4.5 points, and diastolic numbers by -2.2.
A recent study showed that older women with higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil had better preservation of their brain health than women with lower levels. The women with the higher levels could have a few more years of high mental functioning compared to those with lower levels. Benefits like less brain fog, a better memory, and clearer thinking could be seen.
An April 2013 report in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology showed that DHA rich fish oil helps to improve B cell (a white blood cell) activities, which in turn help improve your body’s response to sickness. It also enhanced antibody production, which may aid immune responses in pathogen clearance. In short, it could help boost your immune system and lead to you getting sick less, or getting better faster.
Clearly there is almost no drawback to supplementing, but be sure to talk it over with your doctor first. It could be an inexpensive way to keep your heart and brain healthy for years to come.
A word of warning, not all supplements are created equal, including fish oil. Check out our previous blog on how to know if you’re taking a good one or not.