Author: Gale Maleskey, MS, RD
Most people who take fish oil know its good for their heart. It makes blood less likely to form clots that cause a heart attack, and protects against irregular heartbeats that can cause sudden death.
But theres more to it than that! Because fish oil has body-wide anti-inflammatory effects, its proving to be a good natural treatment for a wide range of health problems.
1. Prolongs life in people with congestive heart failure.
When the heart is too weak to pump blood effectively, people who take 1,000 mg of fish oil a day in addition to the standard drug treatment for heart failure live longer than those who dont get it, according to one large study.
2. Lowers blood levels of C-Reactive Protein.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker for inflammation in the body, and fish oil reduces inflammation. A rise in CRP levels indicates damage to arteries from cardiovascular disease. High levels also predict diabetes, high blood pressure,
stroke and cancer.
3. Relieves symptoms of menopause.
Many women wont take hormone replacement for symptoms associated with menopause because of the risk of blood clots and cancer. So its great that there is a natural alternative! A recent study showed that fish oil cut the number of hot flashes in half in women ages 40 – 55. The women took a fish oil supplement rich in EPA and DHA, for about 8 weeks.
4. Protects against advanced prostate cancer.
Men who consumed the most fish oil had a 63% reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer compared to men getting the least. Researchers found that men with a so-called inflammatory gene had a more than five-fold increased risk of advanced prostate cancer, but when they took fish oil, that risk was substantially reduced.
5. Improves asthma symptoms.
In children, especially, supplemental fish oil can improve peak airflow and reduce medication use and cough. Fish oil can reduce airway reactivity without suppressing immune function, like some asthma medications do.
6. Relieves dry eyes.
Lots of women develop dry eyes as they get older. Their eyes hurt and are easily irritated by air pollutants because the eyes natural washing process is impaired. An increased intake of fish oil can help. Consuming more of the essential omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil keeps your tears oily which improves lubrication and slows evaporation in the eye.
7. Prevents painful cold hands.
Fish oil supplements can help improve tolerance to cold and delay the onset of vasospasm in people with primary Raynaud’s syndrome, a condition where the blood vessels in the hands dont respond properly to exposure to cold.
The Anti-Aging Bottom Line: Rarely has one supplement been so extensively researched and had so many benefits conclusively attributed to it. If you aren’t taking a top-notch fish oil supplement, we strongly recommend that you start now!