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Fish Oil

The omega-3 repository

4914257_xlFish oil is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids – a combination of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) – which are pivotal in supporting brain growth and infant development. Fish such as sardine, mackerel, and salmon accumulate the fatty acids from consuming micro-algae that make them. Like the fish, we physically consume omega-3 fatty acids because our bodies cannot produce them.

BENEFITS OF FISH OIL
Lowers trigylceride levels. Abnormally high levels of triglycerides – the building blocks of fats and oils – are associated with high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which can ultimately lead to heart disease. Some researchers believe that fish oil can reduce triglyceride levels between 20% and 50%.
Boosts brain health. A recent study published in Neurology found that older women who consumed more omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil had better brain preservation as they aged than those who consumed less – suggesting that fish oil may guard against loss of brain cells. Previous studies had also associated fish oil with reduced risk of developing dementia.
Facilitates proper pregnancies. It’s a well-known assertion that fish oil helps facilitate infant neural development. According to a recent study by the University of Western Australia, women who take fish oil during pregnancy are also less likely to suffer miscarriages or serious complications because it reduces inflammation of the placenta.
Hair and skin health. As the natural oils that help lubricate our hair, scalp, and skin tend to lessen with age, the omega-3 fatty acids help to alleviate the dryness that may result in wrinkles. If you struggle with skin conditions resulting from inflamed tissue, such as eczema and acne outbreaks, supplementing your diet with fish oil may be helpful.

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No Panacea

While the benefits of fish oil supplements have long been widely recognised and promoted, downing fish oil pills is not an alternative to eating fish. Fish offers an entire orchestra of vitamins and minerals beyond DHA and EPA. The same goes for other whole foods – supplements do not substitute for whole foods in our diet.

If your doctor prescribed fish oil as a treatment for high triglyceride levels, do follow his instructions. If you are taking fish oil on your own, remember that it is no panacea – you also need to maintain a balanced, wholesome diet.

Alternative Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

If you don’t eat fish, you can get another type of omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid, from plant seeds and nuts like flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. Our bodies convert alpha-linolenic acid into DHA and EPA.

 

 

References:

Hellmich, Nanci. (2014, February 6). Fish oil’s a smart bet. USA Today. p. S3/9.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2079542/Could-daily-dose-fish-oil-help-Alzheimers-disease.html

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/fish-oil-capsules-good-skin-hair-9873.html

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/alternative/fish-oil5.htm

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/fish-oil-friend-or-foe-201307126467

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Posted by ezyhealth on Apr 8 2014. Filed under Nutrition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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