Fish oil has been a topic of conversation for years now, as it has been shown to be extremely beneficial when it comes to overall health and wellness. Fish oil is packed with omega-3 fatty acids and can help the body in a variety of different ways. The truth is, fish oil can be beneficial for both men and women, but today let’s touch on a few ways that it can be great for women.
Women who are post-menopausal have a higher risk of heart disease, so many physicians will recommend that they add a fish oil supplement to their daily regimen to help combat the risks that come along with aging. With that being said, however, fish oil can be great for women of all ages. Here are a few of the benefits of taking fish oil.
#1 – It Can Reduce Inflammation
Omega 3 fatty acids are a great resource for women who deal with inflammation. Anti-inflammatory prescription drugs, such as NSAIDs, can have a lot of side effects. To cut back on side effects, many women choose to take fish oil instead of these prescription drugs. This can not only help with inflammation, but it also helps to reduce pain by getting rid of some of the swelling. If you are currently taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, talk to your doctor about the possibility of giving fish oil a try instead. Sometimes it can even be taken along with the other medication, especially in those people that have a whole lot of pain and inflammation.
#2 – It Can Lower CRP levels in Your Blood
CRP, which is also called C-reactive protein, is found in the blood. If you have too much of it in your blood, it can be an indicator that you are at risk for heart disease. When you have blood work done at your annual physical, the doctor will test for CRP levels. If the levels are too high, then they may recommend that you do something to lower it. Fish oil has been a great source of lowering CRP levels, therefore reducing your risk of heart disease down the road.
#3 – It Can Help With the Effects of Depression
A lot of people may not realize that omega 3 fatty acids can actually help to improve brain function and elevate chemicals in the brain. A couple of chemicals that are often seen to be lower in those with depression are EPA and DHA. These are both found in fish oil, and can therefore be supplemented in the brain by adding fish oil to your daily regimen. If you find yourself depressed, it may be time to add a bit more omega-3 to your diet.
#4 – It is Great for Heart Health
We already touched a little on the fact that fish oil can lower CRP levels in your blood, but this is not the only way that it can benefit your heart. Omega 3’s have also been known to lower your blood pressure and triglycerides. It can also help to reduce clotting in your blood, which means that you will not have as high of a risk for stroke or heart failure. On top of that, it can even help to cut back on irregular heartbeats, allowing your heart to function the way that it was designed to function. There really is a reason why they say that fish is great for your heart!
#5 – It Can Improve Digestive Issues
If you suffer from IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, then consider taking fish oil to help improve the condition. Since it is a natural anti-inflammatory, it can reduce swelling in the digestive tract and help things to flow a bit more smoothly. It can also really help when it comes to boosting probiotics in your stomach. Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that your body needs to help break down food in your digestive tract, while allowing for maximum nutrient absorption. It can even help to reduce the risk of toxins from your food getting into your blood by creating a protective barrier for your cell membranes.
#6 – It Can Improve Memory and Brain Function
We touched a bit on how fish oil can be great for brain function in the way of helping with depression, but did you know that it can also boost your memory retention? Many people take it as a way to cut back their risk of developing dementia. This is especially good for women, as women are more prone to diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. It is, however, really only good for those that want to prevent this type of disease, and has not been shown to slow down the progression of these diseases once symptoms have developed. If this is the main benefit you are looking for, you can also try using MCT Oil for memory and brain function.
#7 – Fish Oil Can Help With Blood Pressure
Omega-3 fatty acids are converted into series three prostaglandins and series 5 leukotrienes in the body. These compounds reduce inflammation, countering the effect of omega-6 fatty acids derived from vegetable oils, which promote inflammation.
Taking omega-3 fats in good amounts can reduce the production of inflammatory compounds. This prevents premature hardening, clogging and furring up of arteries. It also prevents the progression of hypertension. In short, the ability of fish oil to lower blood pressure can be attributed to its:
- Vasodilation properties: Helps relax blood vessels, improving blood flow
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Prevents arteries from swelling
- Anti-coagulant effects: Fish oil acts as a blood thinner and reduces the risk of clots
Till date, numerous studies have been conducted to study the effect of fish oil on blood pressure, and most of them have shown a positive correlation. Let us check out some of these studies.
Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid and Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
An analysis of results from 70 clinical trials has revealed that:
- Compared to placebo, DHA+EPA intake can reduce blood pressure by 1.52/0.99 mmHg on average in all people, regardless of whether or not they have hypertension
- Blood pressure lowered by 4.51/3.05 mmHg on an average in people with untreated hypertension
- It was concluded that all doses of fish oil could lower systolic blood pressure, but a dose of at least 2 grams is required to reduce diastolic blood pressure
Blood Pressure Decrease With Ingestion Of A Soya Product (kinako) Or Fish Oil In Women With The Metabolic Syndrome: Role Of Adiponectin And Nitric Oxide
The study included 65 women with metabolic syndrome. They were divided into three groups: one group received 3 grams fish oil daily, other received 29 grams soy, and third continued their usual diet. The results were:
- An increase in Adiponectin And Nitric Oxide levels in fish oil and kinako group
- Lower blood pressure in fish oil group
A Systematic Review Of Fish-oil Supplements For The Prevention And Treatment Of Hypertension
A systematic review of 17 studies with 1524 participants was conducted to explore the effects of fish oil supplements in both hypertensive and normotensive participants with blood pressure 140/85 mmHg at least.
- Data from eight studies in hypertensive participants found a significant reduction in diastolic and systolic blood pressure; 1.47 mmHg and 2.56 mmHg respectively
- Nine studies in normotensive participants revealed a non-significant reduction in both diastolic and systolic blood pressure
- No relationship between the dose of fish oil and the effect on blood pressure observed
You can see why so many women are adding fish oil to their daily regimen to get adequate amounts of omega-3s. To add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, you can start by consuming at least two servings of fish each week. This can make a significant difference to your health, but a fish oil supplement may make it easier to get these minerals that your body needs without having to overload your diet with fish. After all, to get the amount that you would get from fish oil supplements, you would have to eat a whole lot of fish!