What are the health benefits of fish oil? What are the possible side effects of fish oil? What does fish oil do for your body?
Fish oil is an Omega-3 fatty acid found naturally in seafood. The benefits of fish oil are numerous and include joint pain relief, better cardiovascular circulation, better nervous system function, better eyesight, healthier skin and hair, and fish oil can even act as a cancer deterrent. Increasing your intake of fish products is the best way to get the benefits of fish oil, but you can also take fish oil supplements which are mostly available in capsules.
Fish oil has long chain fatty acids that the body uses to fortify each and every cell in the body. Think of it as the oil in an engine. Fish oil makes things flow better and allow for a more fluid motion. It lubricates joints, encases nerves (myelin), allows for better blood flow and prevents blood clots. Fish oil can also aid in proper digestion as well as the absorption of nutrients during the digestion process.
Although we naturally get the benefits of fish oil from the foods that we eat, we can also go with fish oil supplements. Fish oil is also beneficial for the skin and coats as well as the overall health of dogs and cats. If it is good for your pet, you can imagine that it is good for you. Although different diseases can be treated or made better with varying doses of fish oil, the average fish oil supplement comes in 300mg capsules and should be taken once per day.
Most nutritionists recommended that you take no more than 900mg or 0.9 grams of fish oil a day. The National Institute of Health recommends not exceeding 3 grams per day. As with anything taken in excess it can be harmful. Particularly for diabetics fish oil can, although rarely does, cause a rise in blood sugar levels and reduce the pancreases production of insulin.
Taking fish oil supplements is also not recommended for those with high levels of LDL cholesterol (low density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol) and patients with a risk of bleeding. People with allergies to seafood should also not take fish oil, those that do have been noted as breaking out in a rash or hives.
It should also be noted that some fish may contain trace levels of methyl mercury. The larger the fish, the greater the chance for higher levels of methyl mercury, so try to avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish as well as albacore tuna and tuna steaks in excess. A normal portion would be about 6 ounces.
Methylmercury is known to cause birth defects, learning disabilities and other developmental conditions, so particularly for pregnant or nursing women and young children fish with low mercury content like cod, catfish, herring, sardines, trout, shrimp, oysters, lobster, etc. should be eaten in moderation.
The benefits of fish oil far outweigh the risks. The risks of taking fish oil are rare and non life threatening, whereas the benefits are common and long lasting. So, for better cardiovascular health, joint health and overall good health in general, fish oil is a natural product that should be added to your diet.