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Friday, January 29, 2010

Health benefits of fish oil

I remember my childhood getting a daily dose of a golden color capsule during winter. It was tasteless so we didn't argue in swallowing that stuff. After getting maturity I knew that it was cod liver oil capsule.

What is the fish oil?
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are the main components of fish oil.

If we talk about 'fish oil benefits' there is a good list of diseases which can be prevented by regular use of fish oil.

Health benefits of fish oil include decreased risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, improvement in rheumatoid arthritis, prevention of macular degeneration, and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

There is also evidence that fish oil consumption is beneficial for patients with depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson's disease. Finally, several studies have confirmed that fish oils, especially DHA, are essential for optimum development of an infant's brain and visual acuity.

What dose is sufficient to get the health benefits?

Minimum daily intake of about 500 mg of EPA + DHA is required to achieve meaningful benefits.

A recent study involving Canadian children between the ages of 4 and 8 years found that 78% of them did not meet the recommended intake for children. Researchers from the University of Waterloo report that residents of retirement homes are also likely to be deficient in EPA + DHA. Their study involved 15 residents (7 male and 8 female) aged between 79 and 98 years. The EPA and DHA content of their meals, snacks, and supplements was determined by actual measurement in duplicate food and supplement samples. Their blood level of fatty acids was determined from fingertip prick blood samples. The average (mean) daily intake of EPA + DHA was only 121 mg (median of 53 mg/day).

But are there any fish oil side effects?

Yes there are some side effects which may be:

- Gastrointestinal complaints
- Thinning of blood
- Allergic reaction
- Low blood pressure
- Fish oil supplement may be toxic

For details: 'fish oil'

So it is advised to consult your doctor or health concerning person to ask for suggestion about daily intake of fish oil.

Useful links:

* 'Health benefits of fish oil'

* 'Latest research and health benefits of fish oil'

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