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What You Should Know About Supplementing Your Diet With Fish Oil

Medical Daily logo Medical Daily 2/11/2017 Melissa Matthews
Fish oil is linked to boosting your immunity and helping with asthma. © Pixabay Fish oil is linked to boosting your immunity and helping with asthma.

There’s no doubt that adding fish to your diet is a smart move. Packed with protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins, fish should be eaten twice a week, the American Heart Association recommends. Fish oil supplements, which contain the Omega-3 fatty acids nutritionists rave about, have become a popular staple in many people's daily routines, however the science behind the health benefits are murky. Here's what you should know about how fish oil can improve your health.

It May Help Asthma Sufferers

A new study from the University of Rochester indicates that Omega-3 fatty acid products could lower the production of antibiodies that cause asthma and allergies. However, severe sufferers who use oral steroids don’t see the same effects as an element in their medication hinders any benefits.

Fish Oil May Boost Metabolism

Researchers in Japan found that fish oil activated receptors in the digestive tracts of mice, which encouraged storage cells in the nervous system to metabolize fat. Scientists fed one group of mice fatty food laced with fish oil while another set received a diet without the supplement. They found that mice who ingested the fish oil gained 5 to 10 percent less weight.

Could Boost Your Immunity

"Fish oil may have immune enhancing properties that could benefit immunocompromised individuals," according to Jenifer Fenton, Ph.D., M.P.H., a researcher who conducted a 2013 experiment on the supplement. Fenon and her colleagues found that fish oil encourages white blood cell activity to enhance immunity, reports Science Daily.  

Help Battle Depression

Fish oil supplements have been shown to ease symptoms in mild and moderately depressed people, reports Health. According to the magazine, studies have shown that people with unipolar depression had a measurable reduction in symptoms after taking one to two grams of the supplement per day.

Protect Your Heart

Omega-3s have long been associated with better heart health, however recent studies indicate it might not be as beneficial as once believed. Men’s Health reports that about 300 milligrams of Omega-3 from diets or supplements are beneficial, but more than that is overload.  

While health professionals agree about the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids, the science on the benefits of taking fish oil supplements are more mixed.

Marion Nestle, Ph.D., M.P.H., told SELF that most of the studies on the substance studied fish consumption. “The evidence from supplement studies is decidedly mixed,” she told the magazine. So while, there does seem to be some benefits from consuming fish oil supplements, the best bet is to get your nutrients straight from the source. 

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