You may find big containers of fish oil supplements in the supermarket alongside protein powders and wonder what the hype is all about. Fish oil supplements are known to boast many health benefits as well as offer protection from a variety of diseases. That’s because fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that promote heart health, as well as other vitamins.

Studies are constantly being conducted to prove claims regarding the benefits of omega-3, but the World Health Organization (WHO) itself recommends taking 1-2 portions of fish a week for enough omega-3 in the body. For people who aren’t fond of eating fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, and sardines, fish oil supplements are a great alternative.

Here are some benefits of fish oil supplements, which are also some of the reasons fish oil has been a popular food supplement for the past years.

1. Keeps heart health in check

Fish oil has long been used to fight heart health problems. With its good cholesterol content, it helps maintain blood pressure and prevents clogging in the arteries.

Supporting this, Web MD reports that a study on a prescription fish oil supplement found that fish oil helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by thinning the blood. The brand was especially effective for people who have huge amounts of triglyceride or fat in their blood.

2. Aids weight loss

Some research says that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil help in weight loss by being food suppressants. To be exact, they trigger parts of the brain that regulate food intake.

Moreover, fish oil is also said to slow down the decline in muscle mass in people aged 60 to 65. Besides improving muscle mass, it also encourages the growth of muscle protein. These benefits are also some of the reasons bodybuilders take omega-3 supplements, according to Bare Biology.

3. Fights chronic inflammation

Omega-3 fatty acids also bring about an increase of anti-inflammatory molecules. This helps treat the symptoms of chronic inflammation brought about by heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, among others.

On top of this, fish oil supplements also help people with rheumatoid arthritis by reducing the occurrence of stiffness and joint pain, according to the experts at Orthopaedic Clinic Singapore.

4. Increases bone density

One of the culprits behind low bone density is the consumption of omega-6 found in plant oils over omega-3 fatty acids from fish.

While omega-6 also has many health benefits, it is crucial to strike a balance between the two. In fact, it was found that older people with higher omega-3 intakes maintain a healthier bone density. This makes fish oil a promising interceptor for age-related bone loss.

Further proving fish oil’s help in bone health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) also sponsored studies on the food supplement. These revealed that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have great potential in preventing osteoporosis and bone breakdown in astronauts during their space travels, according to Science Daily.

5. Improves vision

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition found in people over 60. It causes severe loss of sight that is irreversible.

Some studies show that people that consume omega-3-rich fish at least twice a week are almost half less likely to get AMD than those who don’t integrate fish in their diet. Following this, the experts at Eye Specialist Singapore also support responsible intake of fish oil supplements to aid eye health.

6. Reduces the risk of asthma

Asthma is characterized by the inflammation of the airways that causes difficulty in breathing. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, experts believe a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids could be beneficial to patients of asthma.

Since the illness has been found to be prevalent in infants, health professionals have been looking into the effect of pregnant mothers’ intake of fish oil to the presence of the illness in their child. It was found that omega-3 consumption reduces the risk of asthma in infants by nearly 30%.

7. Keeps brain sharp

Normally, brain function declines as a result of old age. However, a few studies have found that a healthy intake of omega-3 fatty acids maintains good memory in seniors. This is because omega-3 fatty acids are important in brain development and brain function.

However, it is important to note that fish oil supplements would only be beneficial to the cognitive health of those who experience mild mental decline. Healthy people would not see results from taking these supplements, says Healthline.

8. Improves mental health

Some research suggests that people who eat more omega-3 rich products are less at risk of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Furthermore, experts have seen promising results from prescribing fish oil supplements alongside antidepressants, helping ease symptoms of depression. People with major depression were also found to have low levels of omega-3 in their system.

There is also some evidence that fish oil supplements benefit children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is characterized by a short attention span and hyperactivity. This is because omega-3 fatty acids are important for healthy brain function.

9. Improve skin and hair

Fish oil intake is also linked to decrease in acne because of its anti-inflammatory properties, say the experts at Dermatologist Singapore. It may also protect from sun damage, preventing skin redness with its omega-3 fatty acid contents. Omega-3 also appears to moisturize the skin and protect the skin barrier, easing the symptoms of skin disorders such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, which causes the skin to be red, itchy, and dry.

Some studies also show fish oil’s potential in aiding hair growth and preventing hair loss. It does this by supplying the needed nutrients to the hair follicles and hampering the inflammation of the hair follicles that is one reason behind hair loss.

While there are many benefits to fish oil supplements, it is still important to take them in moderation. To be sure, check with your physician if fish oil would be beneficial to you and what fish oil supplement brand and dosage would best suit your needs.