Fish Oil Pros and Cons

There are many different health supplements available for us to take and all of these have different strengths and weaknesses. In general all of them have the distinct advantage of providing a very easy way for us to make sure that we get what we need in our diet.

This means that they can help you to improve the nutritious value of your day to day diet, but remember that these are called supplements for a reason – they are designed to supplement your diet and to be taken on top of a healthy diet and they are by no means intended to replace your usual foods. At the same time some can have some drawbacks too.

To take fish oil tablets correctly you should follow the recommended dosage, but also make sure that you eat a normal healthy and balanced diet on top of that. If you do this, then there should be more pros than cons – but we will look at both to make sure you are fully informed before you start.

Fish Oil Pros

It’s Good for Your Heart

Fish oil is made up of the ‘essential fatty acids’ and these are very beneficial for a strong heart. You may be confused by this point having heard that fat is what causes cholesterol. However this is the difference between ‘saturated fat’ and ‘essential fatty acids’ and there are actually two types of cholesterol two – one good and one bad. ‘Good cholesterol’ (HDL) works by preventing the platelets from clumping together and these decreases blood pressure. At the same time fish oil will reduce triglyceride levels in the blood.

You’ll Live Longer and Stay Younger

By now you’ve probably heard of antioxidants as these are quite a big ‘buzz word’ in the health industry and in supplements in particular. Essentially antioxidants work to reduce the amount of ‘free radicals’ in the body. Free radicals are essentially loose canons in the body which attack the cells and damage the cell walls. This leads to aging on a surface level as your skin cells become damaged. However more seriously these free radicals can also occasionally break all the way through the cell walls and into the nucleus of the cell. This is where the DNA is kept – the genetic code for life – and if this gets damaged it can cause permanent damage which is passed on to the new cells each time they reproduce through mitosis. If the damage is severe enough then the DNA will mutate and become cancerous. Fish oil then, via its antioxidant properties, can prevent cancer and aging.

It Will Improve Your Looks

Of course the reduction of free radicals then can reduce your wrinkles and thereby improve your looks. However this also works another way – as your body needs natural oils in order to add moisture to your skin and hair. This then means you’ll get better looking skin and glossier looking hair by consuming fatty acids and you can use them to combat things like eczema. Fats are also used by the body in order to synthesize and convert protein and that means they are involved in the healthy formation of all tissue throughout your body. They can also prevent androgen formation which helps avoid acne breakouts.

It Will Improve Your Eyes

At the same time fish oil can improve the retina of the eye from macular degeneration. This is because of the DHA contained in the fish oil – this is an important part of the retina but can deplete throughout your lifetime as a result of sunlight and other hazards.

It Will Improve Your Smarts

Fish oils are often sold as ‘nootropics’ – drugs which enhance the brain. This is because they can enhance neurotransmission and thereby help your neurons to communicate more quickly and efficiently. They’ve also been suggested as a way to prevent Alzheimer’s and age-related cognitive decline. It’s also been used to treat bipolar depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and other psychoses.

It Will Oil Your Joints

There are other reasons your body needs moisture and oil – and just like your car or your door handle it doesn’t hurt to oil your joints occasionally and especially as you approach older age.

Fish Oil Cons

It Lowers Blood Pressure

If you have very low blood pressure, or you have difficulties with your blood clotting, then perhaps thinning it further is not what you need and in this case supplementing with lots of additional fish oil is not a recommended course of action.

It Contains Mercury

Taking too much fish oil might be bad for you as it contains methyl mercury. This is found in larger fish such as mackerel in particular as they feed on smaller fish which also contains it. Other metals can also be found in fish such as lead, nickel, arsenic and cadmium and many of these can cause poisoning if consumed in high quantities. If you use fish oil tables then, look at the RDA and be careful when consuming other fish. Likewise if you are concerned about poisoning look at using fatty acid supplements from other sources that don’t have this problem.

It May Not Help Your Complexion

While fish oil may be good for your skin, it can also be bad for it – if the problems you are experiencing are the result of having too much oil and grease which is a common cause of acne during adolescence. If you notice an increase in spottiness after using fish oil tablets you may want to stop.

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