Fish oil is one of the best known and healthiest sources of omega 3 , a fatty acid rich in health benefits. Among the advantages of its regular consumption are disease prevention, blood rate control, high anti-inflammatory power and cancer prevention.
It is a food without contraindications, which can be consumed by newborns to elderly people. The salmon and sardines are the main sources of this natural food in Brazil.
Below, you will find a list explaining each of its benefits, how to take it, where to find it and what are the precautions and side effects of its consumption!
Health Benefits of Fish Oil
According to nutritionist Fernanda Costa, the positive effects of substances called polyunsaturated fatty acids (such as omega-3 ) have been widely studied to assess the health benefits of fish oil. Check out:
Prevents chronic diseases arising from obesity
According to the nutritionist, chronic non-communicable diseases constitute the health problem of greatest magnitude in Brazil, corresponding to 72% of the causes of death in the country. Among these chronic diseases, we can highlight hypertension , diabetes , cardiovascular diseases, etc. ( 1 )
Costa states that in obesity the risk of developing these problems increases. “Obese people, as a result of their high body fat stores, have high levels of inflammatory markers,” he explained.
Thus, fish oil can be used as a natural alternative for the prevention of chronic diseases in obesity. In addition, if the patient already has some of these diseases, the oil can also be used as an auxiliary home remedy in their treatment.
But you may be wondering: does taking fish oil make you thin? Scientifically speaking, this food is not able to make you lose weight, but it is a weight loss aid .
For this, the oil must be associated with a healthy diet set up by a nutrition specialist. Physical activities can make you lose weight even faster.
Prevents heart disease
The omega 3 found in the oil also has a high anti-inflammatory action, according to the expert. This is due, in particular, to a medicinal property known scientifically as interleukin (IL-10). ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 )
According to Costa, “omega 3 supplementation, due to its anti-inflammatory effects, can prevent the progression of the atherosclerotic lesion, thus minimizing the risk of cardiovascular disease , for example”, he pointed out. ( 4 )
Decreases triglyceride rate
According to her, omega 3 also has a consistent hypotriglyceridemic effect. “N-3 fatty acids reduce TG (triglycerides) concentrations by reducing the endogenous production of VLDL in the body”, concluded Fernanda.
VLDL is a type of bad cholesterol that helps raise triglyceride levels.
lowers blood pressure
Those who have high blood pressure can also use fish oil as a natural alternative to reduce this problem. And the merits are also of omega 3. Its consumption prevents the formation of blood clots in the arterial wall, which lowers blood pressure. ( 1 )
A study carried out at the Federal University of Uberlândia found that inserting fish and its derivatives – such as oil – presents satisfactory results on the levels of triglycerides, blood pressure, coagulation mechanism and heart rate.” ( 3 )
Good for children and babies
The consumption of fish oil is also good for the healthy development of children.
According to the nutritionist, “omega 3 is responsible for the largest body energy reserve for children and newborns, in addition to being a determining factor in visual and neural development , growth and health maintenance”, he said.
Omega 3 acts on neural and cognitive development, which can be of great help for children’s learning, especially in the first years of life.
It’s important in old age
In addition to being good for newborns, the benefits of omega 3 extend throughout adulthood and into old age. That’s right, the consumption of this substance is essential for a healthy old age.
The nutritionist emphasizes that the nutrient works with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, helping to prevent and treat diseases such as: memory loss , Alzheimer’s and Parkinsonism.
Prevents some types of cancer
A Brazilian study was also able to prove the anti-cancer effect of fish oil, especially due to the antioxidant property of omega 3. Among the types of cancer that can be prevented through regular consumption of this food are breast, prostate and colon cancer. . ( 3 )
How to take fish oil?
Fish oil can be found in two forms: the oil itself (liquid) or in capsules. The second way is the most common and easiest to find.
The Ministry of Health, together with Anvisa, indicate that a Brazilian adult should consume between one and three grams of omega 3 per day , but this depends on each organism.
You can check the amount of omega 3 per gram or milliliter on the fish oil package label. But to know what the ideal amount to consume, it is important to consult a nutrition specialist . ( 5 )
There is no set time for the daily consumption of omega 3. But an interval of at least four hours is recommended between the ingestion of this compound and the practice of physical exercise for hypertrophy .
This is the approximate time it takes the body to absorb the nutrient. It is also important not to take any physical supplements during this interval, as they can affect the absorption of omega 3.
Where to find and how to consume
“Omega 3 is made up of healthy acids found in fish and fish oils . It can be found in both natural (marine animals) and artificial (pharmaceuticals, medicines and supplements) forms”, explains Fernanda Costa.
The main sources of omega 3 found in the environment are from marine animals. Despite this, it is possible to find it in abundance in the seeds of oil plants, mainly in soybeans, corn , sunflowers and nuts .
Care, contraindications and side effects
There are no general contraindications for the consumption of fish oil, except in cases of allergy .
In excess, some side effects may occur. Among the most common are: gastrointestinal disorders, gum bleeding and fishy odor in the mouth region.
In addition, heavy consumption can worsen the glycemic profile of diabetes, increase the serum total cholesterol level in patients with mixed hyperlipidemia, and a consistent increase in LDL.