Facts About the Benefits of Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in marine plants and animals. There are two types of fatty acids contained in fish oil, namely:

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): known as omega-3 fatty acids, EPA helps chemicals synthesize the body that plays a role in blood and inflammation (prostaglandin-3, thromboxane-2, and leukotriene-5). Fish get EPA from the algae they consume.
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): in humans, this omega-3 fatty acid is a key component in sperm, retina (part of the eye), and cerebral cortex (part of the brain).
  • DHA can be found throughout the body, especially the brain, eyes, and heart. DHA is also contained in breast milk.

Benefits of Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Several studies have concluded that fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for health. But other studies say otherwise. This is because it is related to several conditions.

The launch of Medical News Today compiled from various sources, here are the benefits of fish oil and omega-3 acids.

Multiple sclerosis

Fish oil is said to help individuals suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) because of its protective effect on the brain and nervous system. However, at least one study has concluded that fish oil does not have this benefit.

Prostate cancer

A study found that fish oil, along with a low-fat diet, has the potential to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. However, other studies link high omega-3 levels with aggressive prostate cancer.

Research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows that a high intake of fish oil increases the risk of high-level prostate cancer by 71 percent, and all types of prostate cancer by 43 percent.

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Postpartum Depression

Taking fish oil during pregnancy has the potential to reduce the risk of postpartum depression. The researchers suggest that eating fish with high omega 3 content two or three times a week is beneficial for health. Sources of omega 3 intakes from food are more recommended compared to supplements because foods contain protein and other minerals.

The benefits of mental health

A study conducted for 8 weeks in 2007 showed that fish oil has the potential to help young people with behavioral problems, especially those suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

This study explains that children who consume EPA and DHA between 8 to 16 grams a day show an improvement in their behavior as assessed by their parents and psychiatrists.

Benefits for brain memory

Intake of Omega-3 fatty acids can help improve memory in young adults, according to research reported in the journal PLoS One. However, other studies have shown that high levels of omega-3s do not prevent cognitive decline in older women.