By the time you finish this article, I hope you’re convinced that fish oil is for you—regardless of where you are on your weight loss journey.
What exactly is fish oil? It’s a common term used to refer to two kinds of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These omega-3 fats are usually found in animal products and phytoplankton.
The typical American diet is too high in omega-6 fatty acids. A healthy goal is to have omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in a 1:1 ratio. Having this ratio is not only associated with better cardiac health, but has many other health benefits.
How Fish Oil Works in the Body
Fish oil works primarily through eicosanoids. These are signaling molecules that tell other cells what to do. There are 3 types of Eicosanoids: resolvins (which resolve inflammation), protectins (which protect our nervous system), and prostaglandins (which inhibit platelet aggregation).
The ratio of omega-3:6 fatty acids influences which eicosanoids are released in response to stress. Having this 1:1 ratio of omega-3:6 decreases both inflammation and plaque formation. It’s also neuroprotective, meaning it defends the central nervous system.
Clinically Proven Benefits of Fish Oil
Fish oil has been known to be good for your cholesterol and joints, but it’s also an incredible supplement for your overall health. Here are all the amazing benefits.
Decreased Aggression, Stress, and Depression
In otherwise healthy people, the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) form of fish oil appears to prevent excessive aggression in times of stress. The eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) form of fish oil modulates immune function associated with stress. There is also evidence to support that fish oil can act as an antidepressant alone or aid the effects of other antidepressants.
Improves Brain Health
Fish oil appears to promote blood flow to the brain, which positively impacts brain health. There’s also evidence to support that an increase in memory can be associated with DHA supplementation. Fish oil supplementation is also likely to serve a therapeutic and preventative role for stroke victims.
Helps With Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Higher fish intake is associated with a lower risk of developing dementia. Reduced DHA levels are associated with a higher risk of dementia. Furthermore, EPA appears to preserve brain mass over time, which is something we all lose with age. Clearly, fish oil can be a great benefit to anyone prone to forgetting things.
Supplemental fish oil has been found to reduce inflammatory joint pain. Resolvin E1 (from EPA) and Resolvin D2 (from DHA) appear to prevent proinflammatory cytokines from inducing pain. So if your knees, hips, or shoulders hurt from arthritis, fish oil will help!
Maximizes Cardiovascular Health
Your heart is important—so why not protect it with fish oil? Fish oil reliably and potently reduces triglyceride levels after several weeks of supplementation. Supplementation can also increase good cholesterol (HDL) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) when combined with a statin. And as we’ve mentioned, normalizing the omega-3:6 ratio may help with cardio-protection.
Fights Diabetes and Obesity
Fish oil may have the ability to increase insulin sensitivity. There also appears to be a decreased risk of diabetes with a normalized omega-3:6 ratio. This is an important benefit if you have or are at risk for diabetes, are obese, or have insulin resistance. Studies have indicated that fish oil may increase metabolic rate, improve fat metabolism, increase fat loss, and decrease hunger—all of which can improve weight loss.
Encourages Muscle Mass and Hypertrophy
Fish oil augments muscle protein synthesis and increases insulin sensitivity at the muscular level. This leads to muscle hypertrophy and increased metabolic rate.
Fish Oil Quality Does Matter
A great way to think of medical grade quality supplements versus over-the-counter is the comparison of a brand name drug versus a generic. The level of raw ingredient quality, formulation, and efficacy must meet certain standards. These standards are not required by over-the-counter supplements.
At MWL, we offer OmegaGenics EPA-DHA 1000, a mineral associated with reduced body fat percentage. Here’s what Dr. Wendy has to say to say about this supplement:
“I take this fish oil every day, it’s a no-brainer, or should I say “improved-brainer.” It really helps blood flow to the brain, muscles, and joints while decreasing inflammation and improving cholesterol and metabolism. I believe this really keeps me pain free and supports my joints as I age!”
No Risk, All Benefits With Fish Oil
Before you put something in your body, you should identify its risk: benefit profile. With fish oil, the risks are negligible and the benefits are numerous. Whether it’s for your brain, your joints, your mood, or your weight, fish oil is an amazing supplement that will benefit almost everybody!
I’ve been taking fish oil supplements for 3yrs to help with my atrial fibrulation with minimal results. It wasn’t until I added tuna fish to my diet that I began to experience the benefits you mentioned except the weight loss.