10 Little Known Benefits Of Omega-3
Without doubt, you have heard about the numerous health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly fish oil. These fatty acids offer benefits beyond promoting a healthy heart and immune system. In this post we shall look at some benefits, some of which may surprise you.
And while eating wild, oily fish is the best way to obtain these fats, this is not a practical option for many of us. Supplementation is the next best — sometimes best — option, and therefore we include tips on getting a quality product below.
1. Aid In Weight Loss
Fish oil supplements may aid in fat burning, by improving resting metabolism. They contain very low amounts of calories. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to affect leptin levels. Leptin is a hormone associated with obesity. They may also offer benefit in the prevention of weight regain following calorie restriction.
2. Aid In Lean Mass Gain
In one study, 6 week supplementation with fish oil significantly increased lean mass and decreased fat mass.  Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (another term for the oil) were found to help augment anabolic response in healthy young and middle aged men and women in one study. This means that the fatty acids may help prevent some of the muscle loss associated with aging.
3. Brain Health Support
Fish oil may help boost your memory and focusing capabilities. The oil contains the fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). DHA is essential for the growth and functional development of the brain in infants. Inclusion of plentiful of this fatty acid has been linked to improved learning ability whereas deficiency has been linked with deficits in learning. Studies have shown that the fatty acids may aid in the treatment of ADD and ADHD.
4. Mood Support
A number of studies suggest that fish oil may be effective for fighting depression. In one study, participants with stubborn depression reported a 50% reduction in their symptoms after they were given EPA (one of the fatty acids in fish oil). Omega-3 fatty acids may also help smooth out the mood swings associated with bipolar disorder. Conversely, Deficits in omega-3 fatty acids have been identified as a contributing factor to mood disorders.
5. Reduce Cholesterol And Triglycerides
People who follow a Mediterranean type of diet tend to have higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol as well as decreased triglycerides (fats in the blood). Boosting HDL (good) cholesterol helps reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol as well as supporting cardiovascular health. Fish oil supplements have been shown to lower triglyceride levels. This, in turn, may help lower risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke.
6. Skin And Complexion
Skin health and beauty, while related, are two different things. And taking omega-3 supplements can benefit both. EPA in fish oil can help regulate oil production, boost hydration, and reduce acne. The fatty acids may also help combat wrinkles and lines, thus helping to maintain youthful looks. The fats may also help protect skin from UV damage. Studies have been conflicting when it comes to the use of fish oil in the treatment of psoriasis, but it may be helpful here as well due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
7. Healthy Hair
Omega-3 fatty acids may support hair health. They also work as potent lubricants for your scalp. The fatty acids have been shown to strengthen the follicles as well as the hair shaft. The properties that make fish oil beneficial for skin health (#6 above) also make it beneficial for hair and scalp.
8. Healthy Joints
Fish oil has been shown to promote healthy joints and, therefore, mobility. The fatty acids DHA and EPA have been shown to aid in inhibiting inflammation. Arthritis is a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints. Omega-3 fatty acids may also help decrease symptoms of morning stiffness, swollen or tender joints, and joint pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients and may have similar effects on osteoarthritis.
In 1985, an article Transactions of the Association of American Physicians asserted that sharpness of vision and brain development are related to blood levels of DHA and EPA. DHA being a primary component of the human brain as well as the retina of the eye, it is not hard to see the link between omega-3 and vision. Studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent certain vision-impairing conditions such as macular degeneration.
You know the symptoms that tell you that age just might be creeping up on you. These include issues with the joints, thinning hair, and lose of skin tone, and even cognitive decline. Omega-3 fatty acids may help slow the aging process while helping prevent or slow some of the effects that come with it, some of which we have looked at above.
Getting The Right Fish Oil Supplement
Most health and nutrition experts recommend eating fatty fish at several times a week to get omega-3 fatty acids. However, this has certain downsides, such as exposure to toxins and contaminants, and the fact that fresh wild fish is not always available (avoid farmed fish!) while being rather pricey.
Supplements therefore are the best options for most people. But you must be careful here as well, as some supplements will cost you money and offer little or no benefit. Some supplements you don’t want to take at all!
With that said, here are the things to look for when shopping for an omega-3 supplement:
- DHA and EPA amounts: Some cheap, low-quality supplements don’t even list the amounts of these important fatty acids. Look for a product that contains more DHA than EPA.
- Purity: Removing toxins and other contaminants is a good thing, but if done wrong it can also negatively affect the active ingredients that you do want. Look for a product that has been extracted using cold a processing method.
- Freshness: Quality fish oil products contain vitamin E because it is a natural preservative. Krill oil naturally contains this vitamin and does not require adding. All the same, the whole process from harvest to the finished product matters.
For more about this as well as top choices of products check out omega-3 fatty acid supplements now.
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