Fish oil supplements have been touted for their ability to extend life and improve health. One of the key components in fish oil is Omega-3 fatty acids. However, most research on Omega-3 benefits is focused on the consumption of actual fish and not fish oil supplements. So, should you take fish oil supplements or just eat fish to get the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids?
Reduce inflammation with Omega-3 fatty acids
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection. Chronic inflammation can lead to a host of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation by suppressing the production of pro-inflammatory molecules in the body.
Support brain health with Omega-3 fatty acids
The brain is composed of 60% fat and needs Omega-3s to properly develop and function. Humans lack the enzymes needed to create Omega-3s, so the only way to get them is through our diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help the brain by facilitating communication between neurons, preserving cell membrane health, supporting brain blood flow, aiding in the growth of brain tissue, and helping to prevent neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders, including depression and anxiety.
Promote heart health with Omega-3 fatty acids
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the U.S. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering triglycerides, helping to lower blood pressure, slowing the buildup of plaque, which hardens and blocks your arteries, and reducing the risk of developing or being hit with meas, also known as irregular heartbeats.
Boost immune system with Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids can help increase the production of white blood cells, which are crucial for fighting off infections and diseases. Increasing your Omega-3 intake can help improve immune function and reduce the risk of infections.
Help treat erectile dysfunction with Omega-3 fatty acids
In one animal study where the effects of Omega-3 fatty acids and erectile dysfunction due to atherosclerosis were examined, it was observed that rats which were fed Omega-3 fatty acids demonstrated significantly improved erectile quality. In another human review, it was indicated that Omega-3 could help men with erectile dysfunction.
Fish oil supplements vs. eating fish
While fish oil supplements may offer benefits, they are not regulated by the FDA in the same way prescription drugs are. This means that you may not receive all of the promised health benefits by taking this supplement. To be sure you’re getting all of the aforementioned benefits, eat at least two servings of fish that are high in Omega-3s every week. Some examples are Atlantic caring, Pacific mackerel, Chinook salmon, wild coo salmon, rainbow trout, canned sardines, wild swordfish, mussels, and oysters. If you eat fish regularly, supplementation is not necessary. However, if you do not like the taste of fish, you can ask your doctor if you need a prescription for Omega-3s.
In conclusion, fish oil supplements can provide numerous health benefits due to the omega-3 fatty acids they contain. These benefits include reducing inflammation, supporting brain health, promoting heart health, boosting the immune system, and even treating erectile dysfunction. However, it’s important to note that most of the research on omega-3 benefits comes from studies on the consumption of actual fish rather than fish oil supplements. Therefore, it’s recommended to eat at least two servings of fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids every week to ensure you’re getting all of the health benefits. If you don’t like the taste of fish or can’t eat it regularly, you can ask your doctor about the need for omega-3 supplements. Remember, always consult with a medical professional before adding any supplement to your diet.