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There is a lot of hype surrounding fish oil supplementation, often dubbing it a panacea to all of our health woes. So what does it really do? Fish oil actually lives up to many of marketers’ claims, but it’s important to take the hullaballoo with a grain of salt and do your own research on why this marine byproduct is right for you. 

EPA and DHA are the two major omega-3s in fish, and are what provide the healthy benefits. We all could use more omega-3s in our life to strike a balance with the pro-inflammtory omega-6 fatty acids; we often consume too much omega-6, putting ourselves at increased risk of inflammation-related diseases. Fish oil is an easy way to start reversing inflammation and other ailments. The following  eight fish oil benefits are a nudge in the right direction.

1. Clear Skin

Fish oil improves skin condition, treating disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, itching, redness, lesions, rashes, and acne. It also protects the skin from aging and against sun damage.

2. Healthy Heart

Fish oil is highly touted for its ability to improve cardiovascular strength. According to the Journal of American College of Cardiology, a 2009 study accrued the results of studies of tens of thousands of patients in order to suggest a proper daily intake of omega-3s. The results showed that the strongest evidence of a cardioprotective effect of omega-3s was in patients who already had cardiovascular disease and post-heart attack – in these patients, there was a 30 percent reduction in cardiovascular-related death. Fish oil as part of the daily diet helps to decrease the risk of atherosclerosis, arrhythmias, heart attack, sudden cardiac death, and overall health failure.

3. ADHD Treatment

Studies conducted on those suffering from ADHD show that they often have very low levels of the DHA and EPA. A study headed by the Inflammation Research Foundation found that supplementation with high-dose EPA and DHA concentrates may improve behavior of children with ADHD.

4. Arthritis Aid

EPA is able to regulate the pro-inflammatory effects of omega-6 and thus can treat age-related illnesses, such as arthritis. There is a hormone called Eicosanoids that EPA has the ability to alter. Eicosanoids control inflammation and pain and other hormones in the body. One study showed that omega-3 EFAs have a similar effect to reducing arthritic pain as ibuprofen.

5. Alzheimer’s Support

Because of fish oil’s anti-inflammatory effects, it is beneficial in treating Alzheimer’s disease. The illness is linked to inflammation and can thus be targeted by fish oil supplementation.

6. Depression Aid

Many studies have exhibited the effectiveness of omega-3s in improving mood-related disorders. According to one of these studies, fish oil prevents childhood depression – children experienced a more than 50-percent improvement, 40 percent saying they were no longer depressed. None of these feats were reported by the placebo group. As for the rest of the population, British researchers conducted a study on 60 patients and concluded that EPA was able to reduce depression in patients who were still depressed despite standard medication.

7. Weight Loss

Instead of turning the fish oil into body fat, the body will use the fat to build the lipid layer outside our cells, which protects them. Any fat can do this, but fish oil imporves the activity of insulin, which is important in maintaining a healthy weight. One study revealed fish oil supplements or seafood consumption resulted in approximately 1 kilogram more weight loss after 34 weeks than did a simiular diet, but without seafood or a supplement of marine origin.

8. Pregnancy Supplement

DHA is important during pregnancy for the development of the fetal brain and eyes. It is also important for neurological development after birth. Researchers administering omega-3 supplementation on patients support that it is fit as a post-partum depression treatment.

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