10 Surprising Benefits of Taking Fish Oil Every Day
This supplement is popular for a reason, health experts say.
The supplement aisle at any store is filled with countless bottles claiming all sorts of health benefits. You may get overwhelmed with the endless options you're never even heard of, but you'll likely recognize one familiar name no matter where you go: fish oil. Millions of people take this popular supplement—which comes from fat or oil extracted from fish tissue—every day. That oil is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which have a number of health benefits. But what exactly does this daily supplement do for you? Read on to discover 10 surprising benefits to taking fish oil.
It can reduce your risk of sunburn.
While you shouldn't ditch your sunscreen, a daily dose of fish oil may provide extra security on sunnier days. As it turns out, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are "very skin-protective," according to Vanessa O'Brien, registered nutritional therapist and health coach.
"It can help protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation and help reduce the risk of sunburn and skin damage," she says.
It may improve your hair's condition.
Fish oil can also save your hair from trouble, as the fatty acids in this supplement "may help your scalp retain moisture," Steven Fiore, MD, board-certified orthopedic surgeon and founder of Cannabis MD Telemed, says.
"This is important for preventing dryness, which can lead to brittle and dull-looking hair," he explains.
It can help get rid of acne.
If you've struggled to get clear skin, Randall Higgins, PharmD, pharmacist and skincare specialist at Good Glow, says taking fish oil every day may be the answer to your problems.
"Acne is not just a skin issue; it's an inflammation outcry from within," he notes.
Because omega-3s have been shown to reduce inflammation, "fish oil doesn't just treat the symptom" when it comes to acne, according to Higgins.
"Instead, it addresses the root of the problem with its anti-inflammatory prowess," he shares. "It's like calming the storm within to see the rainbow—clear skin."
It can reduce signs of aging.
Even if you don't struggle with acne, fish oil supplements have other skin benefits as well, according to O'Brien.
"Omega-3 fats are also important for reducing signs of aging by helping to maintain the elasticity of skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles," she says.
It can improve your eye health.
Aside from your skin and hair, you can also look to to this supplement if you're dealing with eye-related issues. As Omaira Ferreira, functional health practitioner and founder of Ferreira Functional Health, explains, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is one type of omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil. It's also a "major structural component of the retina."
Due to this connection, "regular consumption of fish oil can help maintain good vision, reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and prevent dry eye syndrome," she says.
Fish oil can also help "cushion the blow" that our eyes take from endless screen time, Higgins adds. "You'll see less puffiness," he says.
It can aid weight loss management.
You shouldn't overlook this popular supplement if you're trying to shed some pounds.
"Even though the most definitive strategy for losing weight is doing regular exercise and eating right, the process of weight loss may be catalyzed by the addition of fish oil to your diet," Fiore tells Best Life.
According to the orthopedic surgeon, consuming fish oil every day can actually help decrease your appetite. "As a result, body fat storage is reduced, which makes a workout session more effective," he explains.
It can provide relief to your joints.
Suffering from joint problems? Ferreira says that the "anti-inflammatory properties" of fish oil can benefit joint health and provide arthritis relief.
"Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce joint stiffness, swelling, and pain," she shares. "Regular fish oil intake may also slow down the progression of arthritis and improve joint mobility."
It can improve your mood.
If you're looking for a natural mood booster, Fiore also points to fish oil.
"Mood and cognition is controlled by a chemical called serotonin that is secreted in the brain, and regular consumption of fish oil promotes the release of serotonin," he notes.
According to Fiore, taking this supplement every day reduces brain inflammation and facilitates the release of serotonin—allowing it to work better in the body.
"An uninterrupted release of serotonin helps in improving social behavior and uplifts mood," he says.
It can benefit your brain health.
But fish oil's benefits for your brain go beyond mood enhancement. According to Fiore, your brain is made up of nearly 60 percent fat, and much of that is omega-3 fatty acids.
"Therefore, omega-3s are essential for typical brain function as they make an building block for the brain cell structures and membranes," he explains.
Zeynep Ozdemir, dietitian and nutritionist working with Detox Water, says you can see the benefits to your brain health in several different ways.
"Memory, focus, and the ability to learn are all improved with consistent use, making it a helpful tool for people of all ages," she adds. "The value of fish oil in preserving mental sharpness throughout life is further underscored by recent research suggesting that these fatty acids may lessen the incidence of age-related cognitive decline."
It decreases your risk of heart disease.
It's not just your brain health that can benefit from daily fish oil intake. Alongside DHA, fish oil is also rich in the omega-3-fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Both of these acids "have been shown to reduce triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve overall heart health," according to Ferreira.
"These benefits can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems," she says.
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Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.