Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Benefits Of Fish Oil Supplements

Do you know that there is one single supplement that can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attack, support a healthy mind and help to support healthy child development? These benefits come from taking fish oil supplements.

People take fish oil supplements for a variety of reasons. Some believe that fish oil helps prevent conditions such as Alzheimer's or kidney diseases. Others believe that fish oil supplements will help everything from premenstrual syndrome to seasonal allergies. While fish oil supplements are still under research, none of the above ailments has been proved to be helped by taking fish oil. However, there are many reasons why taking fish oil supplements may be healthy for you.

Key Ingredients
Fish oil supplements contain key elements called omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to the body in many ways. They contain both DHA and EPA, which are found naturally in fatty fish sources such as salmon, tuna, anchovies, catfish, halibut, herring, mackerel and whitefish. As the human body doesn't manufacture these important chemicals, omega-3 fatty acids must be ingested from fish sources or acquired through dietary supplementation, by taking fish oil capsules.

Heart Health Benefits
Perhaps the most amazing set of results on the positive effects of fish oil supplements involve their amazing effect on heart health. Several studies have produced sufficient evidence that DHA and EPA in the form of fish oil supplements lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels, decrease the risk of irregular heartbeat and slow the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Fish oil also improves the functioning properties of blood vessels and is associated with a lowered resting heart rate. According to The Mayo Clinic research facility in Rochester, Minnesota, taking fish oil supplements has ultimately shown to reduce the risk of heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms, stroke, and sudden heart related death.

Pregnancy Benefits
Due to an increased risk of bleeding, taking high doses of fish oil supplements during pregnancy is not recommended, and any dietary supplementation should be monitored by your physician. Nevertheless, taken in moderate amounts, fish oil supplements have several benefits for the mother and her unborn or breastfeeding infant.

Fish oil supplements taken during pregnancy may help speed up development of the infant's immune system. Fish oil may also positively affect the proper functioning of white blood cells. As DHA has been shown to be important to a healthy pregnancy, it is often added to prenatal vitamins as well as infant foods and formulas to support brain and eye development after the child is born. According to studies conducted by The Mayo Clinic, infants who have received DHA through their mother during pregnancy have shown to have higher problem-solving abilities.

Mental Health Benefits
As having low levels of omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to depression, a few studies have been conducted to see if supplementing omega 3 with fish oil capsules will help. Results showed that taken regularly, fish oil supplements may decrease suicidal behavior. They were also shown to improve symptoms of both postpartum and childhood depression.

Rounding out the benefits that fish oil supplements can have on mental health, evidence suggests that they may even help improve symptoms of schizophrenia, as well as helping ADHD related problems such as an inability to concentrate, and a tendency to be hyperactive and impulsive.

Side Effects
Even though fish oil supplements are classified as safe by the Food and Drug Administration, ask your doctor if they are right for you. Due to potential increases in blood sugar levels, diabetics or those who are at risk for abnormal bleeding, caution should be taken when taking fish oil supplements. Gastrointestinal upset is common when taking fish oil supplements. Fish oil supplements should not be taken by children unless advised by a physician.

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