Did you know that if you live in a Western country in the 21st century – your diet is likely deficient in omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fats, found abundantly in fish oil, play a crucial role in several systems and organs in your body, including your heart, brain, bones, skin, and muscles.
Shockingly, however, today, we’re consuming 15 times fewer omega-3s than our ancestors.
That’s right – 15 times. Studies show that our ancient relatives regularly feasted on foods high in omega-3 fats, while our modern diet contains measly portions of these crucial fatty acids.
To make matters worse, we’ve replaced omega-3 with omega-6 in our diets, leaving us with a 1:15- omega-3s to omega-6s ratio, while our ancestors consumed a diet closer to 1:1 .
Startling? Yes. Hopeless? Luckily, no.
Read on to learn about the vital roles omega-3s play in your body and how you can correct your omega-3 balance so you can look and feel your best for years to come.
6 Benefits of Fish Oil
To maintain a 1:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6, your ancestors surely consumed a significant amount of fish. Unfortunately, today, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to rely solely on fish to get the boost in omega-3 that your body craves.
First, that would be a whole lot of fish. Second, due to the state of our oceans and the practices of fish farming, our fish today are less robust in omega-3s than they used to be.
And this is where fish oil comes in. By providing a concentrated source of highly bioavailable omega-3s, fish oil gives you the most bang for your buck to ensure your body is receiving a significant dose of omega-3s on a regular basis.
Now, let’s explore some of the benefits of those omega-3s in your fish oil.
In the United States, it’s estimated that one in every five deaths is related to heart disease . While there are several factors that can contribute to poor heart health, diet is one of the most significant. And within your diet, omega-3s play a crucial role in maintaining cardiac health and function.
Studies show that omega-3 fats can help to regulate triglyceride levels and improve blood pressure levels. These fatty acids also play an interesting role in your cellular membranes, assisting with communication between cells and potentially helping to prevent arrhythmias .
Research on the effect of omega-3s on heart failure also shows that omega-3 fats may positively impact the activity of your autonomic nervous system and assist in the function of the cells lining your blood vessels .
All in all, it’s fair to say that omega-3s play an integral role in keeping your ticker ticking.
Omega-3 fats play a fascinating role in bone health. By modulating and up-regulating specific pathways, the presence of omega-3 fats can decrease the activity of osteoclasts (the cells that break down your bones) while increasing the activity of osteoblasts (the cells that build bone) .
Omega-3s can also influence the activity of cells found in your bone marrow called mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). MSCs can either transform into osteoblasts (bone-building cells) or adipocytes (fat cells).
How can you help your MSCs grow up into osteoblasts? Consume more omega-3s! Studies show that omega-3 fats nurture the differentiation of MSCs into bone-building cells in favor of fat cells – now that’s a pretty good deal for bone health .
Neurological health is getting a lot more attention these days, and for good reason – more than 6 million Americans are currently living with neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s .
Diet can play a significant role in healthy brain aging, and with a brain that’s nearly 60% fat, it’s no surprise that incorporating more omega-3s would have a profound influence .
One of the reasons that omega-3 fats can have such a powerful impact is due to their incorporation directly into your cell membranes. This allows them to influence the fluidity of the membrane and also support cellular signaling and other membrane functions.
Studies show that consuming omega-3 fats may positively influence neurological health, potentially slowing cognitive decline . In fact, in one study, participants supplementing with fish oil showed improved brain function — after just five weeks .
Although more research is needed in the area, some studies also suggest that omega-3s may support mental imbalances such as depression and anxiety. At this time, the most compelling data shows that people experiencing anxiety and depression tend to have lower levels of omega-3s. That said, more clinical studies are necessary to understand if there is a mechanism at play here .
Some research also shows that omega-3s may improve symptoms of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), but once again – more research is needed .
Whether we’re seeing signs of aging or dealing with common skin issues, it’s fair to say we all want our skin to have a healthy, youthful glow. But did you know that the quality of fats in your diet has a crucial impact on skin health?
Studies show that omega-3 fats can help improve your skin’s health due to their incorporation into your cellular membranes. When omega-3 fats replace omega-6 fats in the membrane of your cells, it can shift the chemistry to support healing and protection against age-related skin issues due to sun exposure .
Furthermore, research shows that omega-3 supplementation may be beneficial for combating common skin conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and acne .
Maintaining muscle health is critical as you age and is vital for your bones’ health.
Studies show that taking omega-3 supplements, such as fish oil, has a positive effect on muscle growth and maintenance in both those with muscle wasting and people with healthy muscle mass .
Many of these studies support the use of omega-3s on both young and old alike, helping us understand the value of omega-3s throughout the lifecycle for maintaining muscle health.
There’s a fair amount of evidence that omega-3 fats play an important role in eye health, especially as you age.
Like any other organ in your body, as the years go on, your eyes become more susceptible to oxidative stress and damage. Studies show that people with low levels of omega-3s are at a greater risk for macular degeneration .
On the other hand, research shows that increasing your fish consumption may reduce your risk of macular degeneration .
While more clinical studies are necessary before we can draw a firm conclusion, it’s safe to say that fish oil likely has a beneficial effect on eye health, especially in older populations.
How To Choose The Best Fish Oil Supplement
While you can fill your diet with flax seeds, chia seeds, and every other type of plant-based omega-3s, these sources come in the form of ALA, which is much less bioavailable than omega-3s sourced from fish oil (DHA and EPA).
Therefore, if you really want to give your body the dose of omega-3s it’s craving, fish oil is the way to go.
But how do you know which fish oil supplement to choose? There are hundreds of options on the market, each claiming to be the best pick for this or that reason.
If you feel overwhelmed with the options, it’s understandable, so here are a handful of things to keep in mind when you are searching for fish oil:
Fish oil is tricky because, depending on your source, the oil can come contaminated with all kinds of toxins, including PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and heavy metals.
How do you know which oil is safest? The smaller the fish, the fewer toxins it will contain.
Bottom feeders like sardines, mackerel, and anchovies have a shorter lifespan than most other fish, which means they come into contact with fewer toxins.
All fish oil will contain some type of antioxidant, but what most people don’t realize is that the quality of your antioxidants matter just as much as the quality of your fish oil. Look for natural antioxidants like astaxanthin and curcumin.
Fish oil supplements should contain a significant dose of DHA and EPA per serving.
Unfortunately, many companies skimp on the serving size, meaning you only get a fraction of what your body needs each time you take your supplement.
On the other hand, some companies offer a good amount of omega-3s, but you have to swallow a handful of capsules or choke down a big gulp of oil to get there.
Ideally, your fish oil supplement should provide a significant dose of omega-3s in a reasonable serving size.
Furthermore, be sure to check the label to identify the form of fatty acids present. Avoid synthetic fats, which your body can’t recognize, and go for natural triglycerides, which are the form that nature intended. Natural triglycerides have superior bioavailability, which means you get much more bang for your buck.
Many people question whether they need to take supplements if they already consume a healthy diet. While you don’t want to overdo it with excess nutrients, everyone can benefit when it comes to fish oil.
Your body craves these fatty acids, and as you’ve learned our Western diets are woefully deficient.
Even if you eat fish every day, the amount of omega-3s in seafood has been on the decline, particularly in farm-raised fish. Furthermore, it’s nearly impossible to escape the fact that our modern diets are exceptionally high in omega-6 fats – they’re simply everywhere.
Therefore, to achieve a healthy balance of omega-3s and omega-6s, your best bet is to find a high-quality fish oil supplement like Triple Power Omega-3 Fish Oil. Triple Power not only contains natural triglycerides, but the fish oil is sourced from small fish, including sardines, mackerel, and anchovies. And as a cherry on top, we use natural antioxidants such as curcumin and astaxanthin to protect the quality of the oil.
With Triple Power Omega-3 Fish Oil, you can rest assured that your omega-3 needs are covered and that the quality of your fish oil is as good as it gets.
Is it good to take fish oil every day?
Yes, taking fish oil daily can help you achieve a better ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s in your diet. Since consuming significant amounts of omega-3s can be difficult, a daily supplement can help you pick up the slack.
Who shouldn’t take fish oil?
Anyone with a chronic health condition like diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease should speak with their healthcare provider before taking fish oil. You should also consult your healthcare provider if you’re taking medications, particularly blood-thinning drugs.
What are the top 5 benefits of fish oil?
Fish oils support several systems and organs in your body, including heart health, brain health, bone health, skin health, and muscle health.
Can I take fish oil and vitamin D together?
Yes, vitamin D is best absorbed when taken with dietary fat, so taking fish oil and vitamin D together is ideal for absorption.
When should I take fish oil?
You can take fish oil any time of day, morning or night. The best time to take a fish oil supplement is when you’ll remember it – so it may be helpful to take it with a meal or along with other supplements.