Fish Oil Health Benefits

Fish oil may be the answer to today's epidemic of heart disease and other cardiovascular disorders. It provides a particular nutrient that is essential to good health. It is more efficient at delivering that nutrient than other related supplements. And, almost as a miraculous side effect, it has therapeutic benefits that are much needed in today's epidemic of "diseases of civilization." This article will discuss the nutritional aspects of fish oil and why it is one of the best supplements you can take.

In the modern diet, especially in the so-called "Western" countries, there is an imbalance in a type of nutrient called a "fatty acid." Omega-6 fatty acids, found in animal products, are highly prevalent. Omega-3 fatty acids, however, are in short supply. In other words, we all eat too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3.

And this is one of the factors that contributes to heart disease. Some experts say we should be aiming for a ratio of 2:1, omega-6 to omega-3. But most of us are eating closer to 20:1. By consuming more omega-3, we can acquire that that balance and, hopefully, less cardiovascular disease. Fish oil also contains one of the more efficient versions of omega-3. Adding more fish to your diet can be a great way to get omega-3, but the advantage of taking a fish oil supplement is the lack of mercury that may be found in many fish. Mercury can lead to adverse health effects.

There are three "varieties" of omega-3: ALA, EPA, and DHA. If you consume ALA, your body converts it into EPA and DHA. The latter two omega-3s are the useful ones, as far as cardiovascular benefits go. Fish oil contains an abundance of EPA and DHA, so your body doesn't have to convert anything first; it's already in its most beneficial form. A supplement such as flaxseed oil contains plenty of omega-3, but in the form of ALA, so it is much less efficient to take flaxseed. In addition to the efficiency of fish oil, it also has several side benefits.

Scientific studies support fish oil's effectiveness at reducing hypertension, or high blood pressure. It also thins the blood, which leads to one of its side effects. All these effects are added on to its positive effects, making fish oil virtually a must have in today's world.

Fish oil is one of the best supplements you can take if you don't already have a large percentage of fish in your diet. It contains omega-3 fatty acids to counteract the effects of an overload of omega-6, and it contains DHA and EPA, the two most beneficial forms of omega-3. It also provides some relief from hypertension and helps thin the blood, which can further decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.