There are many hundreds of benefits that nearly anyone can gain by taking fish oil. Researchers have known about most of the uses for decades and have been proving their validity through double blind tests for years. At the same time, even more different uses are being discovered, making fish oil a wonder nutrient that is safe for all ages and recommended for them as well. Let’s take a closer look at some of the many uses of fish oil, the side effects, the history, and how daily intake is necessary for a long and healthy lifetime.
Fish Have Been A Staple Food For Millennia
Since the dawn of human civilization, we have been eating fish, sometimes from the sea and other times from lakes and rivers. Archeologists have found sharpened spears for catching fish in the most ancient caves and dig sites. There are piles of fish bones in nearly every campsite found of early humans near any body of water.
For the most part, early humans just consumed fish for food, and of course, the delicious taste that we all recognize. There have been theories put forth that 150,000 years ago some humans realized that the special fats that fish contained helped make them smarter, but it’s very hard to prove either way.
The first manufacturer of fish oil is thought to have happened in the late 1770s in England, where cod liver oil was extracted and sold to help relieve the pain of arthritis. The biggest problem was that the water where the cod were raised contained lots of pollutants like mercury in large doses. We didn’t realize it was a dangerous element then and there weren’t methods to easily test for it.
Modern Fish Oil Is Highly Refined And Free Of Contamination
The oil is now refined by advanced methods that use faction distillation to separate all of the contaminants and purify the oils. Then antioxidants are added to preserve freshness so the oil doesn’t turn rancid before you use it. Now that the supply is safe there are no reasons not to take as much oil as you need.
Since there are no more heavy metals, there are very few light side effects that shouldn’t deter anyone from using the supplements. Some people do experience a slight fish breath, but if the supplements are taken with food that problem is usually eliminated.
The United States Food And Drug Administration has set no upper limit on the daily consumption of these beneficial oils. In capsule form, they are far safer than actually eating fish because of the molecular distillation that reduces the pollutants found in some fish.
Oils From Fish Contain EPA And DHA Fatty Acids
These fatty acids have been proven to help increase the intelligence of children when taken regularly. There have also been studies that show a slight decrease in hyperactivity and an increase in mental focus in children as well. This is thought to be the consequence of low EPA and DHA in their young bodies that is boosted by supplementation.
By increasing the Omega 3s, which is the healthy fat in fish oil, you help to decrease the Omega 6s that are the cause inflammation. This inflammation is a root cause of many modern diseases and by balancing the two, higher brain function has been noted by researchers in double-blind studies.
Omega 3 Has Been Linked To Less Alzheimer’s In The Aged
The original study was of a broad group of hundreds of thousands of Europeans which showed that a huge portion of them had far fewer incidences of Alzheimer’s in their aged populations. Those with less disease were from coastal communities that consumed large amounts of fish in their diets.
Then scientists did the testing to see if the oils taken in capsules would gain the same benefits as eating the fish. That’s how it was discovered that diets high in Omega 3 fat is beneficial for those wanting to delay or eliminate altogether their risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
At the same time, the Omega 3s were also found to help reduce the plaque on the inner walls of most people’s arteries which can help reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks. So it seems, for those that are growing old, supplements are highly recommended, especially if you include the added benefit of reduced arthritic pain as well.
Researchers are now investigating the effects of Omega 3s on mood. Many people are experiencing a slight lift in their depression that seems to improve the longer that one continues to take the supplements. It’s thought that the DHA and EPA help to stabilize nerve cell walls while increasing serotonin levels, which is an important neurotransmitter in our brains.
The list of helpful benefits that result from eating more fish, or taking the supplements, is growing longer by the day. It’s fairly clear that the human body evolved eating fish as a regular part of our diets and without it, we are lacking in needed nutrients. By consuming supplements, we can avoid the problems with pollutants and gain all the advantages of eating fish daily with none of the risks.