What Is Fish Oil? - The Many Benefits of Omega-3 Fish Oil

Fish oil has proven power to stabilize blood vessels, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol and blood lipid profiles, ease depression, and stop inflammation. But most of us don't know what fish oil really is and why it's better for us than just eating fish.

Fish Oil Capsules Capture the Omega-3's in Fresh Fish

If there is anything every cook knows about preparing fish, it's that fresher is better. Fish tastes better when it is cooked and consumed within just hours of the catch, and canned or frozen fish just doesn't capture the flavor, or nutrition, of fresh fish. When it comes to fish oil capsules, however, the manufacturing process actually increases the nutritional potency of the product. Government-inspected, carefully sanitary fish processing plants in Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Chile, and Peru process freshly caught cold-water fish with steam. The steam opens the flesh to release the oil without "cooking" it. (The rest of the fish is used to make fish meal for feeding chickens.) The fish oil is then distilled to remove any impurities, mixed with vitamin E to give it additional antioxidant potency, and sealed into stainless steel drums to be sent to an encapsulation plant. The refrigerated fish oil is put into plant-based capsules and then packaged and refrigerated to ensure its potency.

What Is Fish Oil Good For?

Taking fish oil supplements is associated with protection from the most serious health conditions caused by aging:

  • A study reported in the journal Cancer Epidemiology found that women who took fish oil were 35% less likely to develop breast cancer.
  • Studies in the lab have found that the omega-3 essential fatty acids in fish oil stop the development of prostate cancer cells.
  • The US National Institutes of Health confirm that fish oil can lower high triglyceride levels (which helps the liver make more HDL cholesterol), lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of sudden death from cardiac arrest.
  • The Orygen Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia has found that giving fish oil young people at risk for developing schizophrenia delays the onset of the disease.
  • American scientists have found that taking fish oil can offset the "manic" phase of bipolar disorder.
  • Alzheimer's patients who are given fish oil may have greater ease in "executive function," making meaningful decisions.
  • Taking fish oil may delay the onset of Parkinson's disease.
  • Fish oil, more specifically cod liver oil, relieves symptoms of psoriasis.
  • Students who take fish oil had less test anxiety.

There is no condition that fish oil "cures." In every case, it is your own body that cures the disease. Taking fish oil gives your body the tools it needs to make the anti-inflammatory hormones that stop the inflammatory hormones that cause disease.

How Much Fish Oil Should You Take a Day?

The minimum effective dose of fish oil is 1 gram of DHA plus EPA per day, which is three capsules. Taking up to 25 grams of DHA plus EPA a day may be beneficial for some conditions, but you should not take more than 10 grams a day without consulting your doctor.

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