Fish oil has been in the news a lot in the past few years, expounding on the health benefits of this nutritional supplement. But what is fish oil, and how can it help? Fish oil is oil that is derived from the body tissues of oily fish like salmon and tuna. Fish oil contains Omega 3 fatty acids as well as certain other compounds.
These compounds help to reduce inflammation throughout the entire body. Fish obtain the Omega 3 acids by eating microalgae which contain these acids, as well as from eating other fish who have the acids already built up from their diet on this algae. Fish do not produce the omega 3 acids in their body. Fish that are fatty include Salmon, Tuna, Mackeral, Lake Trout, Sardines, and Herring.
Eating these fish will give you some of these fish oils, but not as much as a supplement will. Unfortunately, these fish are usually predators, and as such they may accumulate toxins and harmful chemicals by eating other fish which have these toxins in their body. The FDA has a recommendation concerning the consumption of these fish, because many of these fish have things like mercury, dioxin, Chlordane, and PCBs, built up in their fatty tissues. Because of these issues, many people are turning to fish oil supplements to get the benefits of fish oil without the contamination risks.
When buying fish oil supplements, make sure that the label states that the product is distilled, free of mercury and any other toxins, and that the product is USP certified. There are numerous benefits from fish oil that have been proven in scientific studies. There have even been studies that link low levels of omega 3 fatty acids with an increase in violent behavior among prisoners. Fish oil can help regulate the cholesterol in your body, There is also strong evidence to support the theory that the fatty acids found in fish oil are needed for the growth of neurons in the frontal cortex of the brain, which most neurologists believe is responsible for personal behavior and impulse control.
Fish oil is also recommended by physicians to patients who have high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and many other medical conditions. There is even scientific evidence that shows having adequate amounts of fish oil in your diet may give some protection against Alzheimer’s Disease. As with any nutritional supplement, you should always talk to your doctor first, and follow their advice.