Fish oil is widely used today. Fish that are especially rich in the beneficial oils known as omega-3 fatty acids include mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, cod liver, blubber, and seal blubber.

Fish Oil – Uses and Properties

Fish oil is FDA approved to lower triglyceride levels, but it is used for many other conditions as well. It is most often used for conditions related to the heart and blood system. Some people use fish oil to lower blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels.

It is used to prevent heart disease or stroke, as well as for clogged arteries, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, bypass surgery, heart failure, rapid heartbeat, prevention of blood clots and high blood pressure after a heart transplant.

Fish oil is also used for many kidney-related problems, such as kidney disease, kidney failure, and kidney complications related to diabetes, cirrhosis, Berger’s disease (IgA nephropathy), heart transplantation, or use of the medicine called cyclosporine.

Fish may have earned their reputation as “brain food” because some people eat fish to help with depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Alzheimer’s disease, developmental coordination disorder , migraine, epilepsy, schizophrenia, traumatic stress disorder, and mental decline.

Some people use fish oil for dry eyes, cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a very common condition in older people that can lead to serious vision problems.

Fish oil – Administration

Fish oil is taken by mouth for stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, an inherited disorder called phenylketonuria, allergy to salicylate, Crohn’s disease, Behcet’s syndrome, and Raynaud’s syndrome.

Women sometimes take fish oil to avoid painful periods; breast pain; and complications associated with pregnancy, such as miscarriage (including that caused by a condition called antiphospholipid syndrome), high blood pressure in late pregnancy, early delivery, and to promote infant development.

Fish oil is also taken orally for weight loss, exercise performance and muscle strength, post-exercise muscle pain, pneumonia, cancer, lung disease, seasonal allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, and for preventing blood vessels from re-stenosis after surgery to widen them.

Fish oil is also used for diabetes, prediabetes, asthma, a coordination and movement disorder called dyspraxia, dyslexia, eczema, autism, obesity, weak bones (osteoporosis), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, psoriasis, a disease immune system called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), multiple sclerosis, HIV / AIDS, cystic fibrosis, gum disease, Lyme disease, sickle cell disease, and prevention of weight loss caused by some anticancer drugs.

Fish oil is used intravenously (intravenously) for scaly and itchy skin (psoriasis), blood infection, cystic fibrosis, pressure ulcers, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Fish Oil – Benefits

  • High triglycerides: Research suggests that fish oil from supplements and food sources can lower triglyceride levels. The effects of fish oil appear to be the most important in people who have very high triglyceride levels.
  • Additionally, the amount of fish oil consumed appears to directly affect the amount of triglyceride levels that are lowered. One particular fish oil supplement called Lovaza has been approved by the FDA to lower triglycerides. A small study suggests that taking fish oil daily for 8 weeks may not lower triglycerides in teens.
  • Heart disease. People who already have heart disease may also lower their risk of dying from heart disease by eating fish or taking a fish oil supplement. However, for people who already take heart medications such as a “statin” and for those who already eat a decent amount of fish, adding fish oil may not offer any additional benefits.
  • Prevención de la re-obstrucción de los vasos sanguíneos después de la angioplastia, un procedimiento para abrir un vaso sanguíneo cerrado. La investigación sugiere que el aceite de pescado disminuye la tasa de bloqueo de los vasos sanguíneos hasta en un 45% cuando se administra durante al menos 3 semanas antes de una angioplastia y continúa durante un mes a partir de entonces. Sin embargo, cuando se administra durante 2 semanas o menos antes de la angioplastia, no parece tener ningún efecto.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Taking fish oil improves attention, mental function, and behavior in children ages 8 to 13 with ADHD. Other research shows that taking a specific supplement containing fish oil and evening primrose oil (Eye Q, Novasel) improves mental function and behavior in children ages 7-12 with ADHD.
  • Bipolar disorder. It improves symptoms of depression, but not mania in people with bipolar disorder.
  • Cancer-related weight loss. Low doses of fish oil do not seem to have this effect. Some researchers believe that fish oil reduces cancer-related weight loss by fighting depression and improving the mood of people with cancer.
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery. Taking fish oil appears to prevent coronary artery bypass grafts from reclosing after coronary artery bypass surgery. High blood pressure caused by the drug cyclosporine.
  • Damage to the kidneys caused by the drug cyclosporine. Cyclosporine is a drug that reduces the chance of organ rejection after an organ transplant. Fish oil also appears to improve kidney function during the recovery phase after rejection of a transplanted organ in people taking cyclosporine.
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). A combination of fish oil (80%) and evening primrose oil (20%) appears to improve reading, spelling, and behavior when given to children ages 5 to 12 with developmental coordination disorder. However, it does not appear to improve motor skills.
  • Menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea) Research shows that taking fish oil, alone or with vitamin B12, can improve painful periods and reduce the need for pain relievers in women with menstrual pain.
  • Movement disorder in children (dyspraxia). It appears to decrease movement disorders in children with dyspraxia.
  • Endometrial cancer There is some evidence that women who regularly eat about two servings of fatty fish weekly have a reduced risk of developing endometrial cancer.
  • Heart transplant. Preserve kidney function and reduce long-term increase in blood pressure after heart transplantation.
  • Abnormal cholesterol caused by HIV / AIDS treatment. Some research suggests that taking fish oil lowers triglyceride levels in people with abnormal cholesterol levels caused by HIV / AIDS treatment.
Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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