Last update: June 11, 2024

6 minute read

5 Major Benefits of Fish Oil

Explore the health benefits of fish oil. Learn how it can support heart health, treat mental conditions, improve eye health, and more.

Stephanie Wright

By Stephanie Wright, RN, BSN

Edited by Dr. Dimitar Marinov, MD, MBA, PhD

Learn more about our editorial standards

Ever wondered about the benefits of adding fish oil supplements to your daily routine? Fish oil, found mainly in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, essential nutrients that hold promising benefits for your health. Keep reading to discover how these pills might support heart health, certain mental health conditions, eye health, reduce inflammation, and even promote healthier skin.

Key takeaways

  • Fish oil may support heart health by improving triglycerides
  • Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil might contribute positively to some mental health conditions
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties which might help manage conditions related to chronic inflammation

    What are the key benefits of fish oil?

    Understanding the advantages that fish oil supplements offer requires a close examination of its components, mainly the Omega-3 fatty acids, and their effect on your health. From cardiovascular health to mental health support, fish oil offers potential benefits that could be a valuable addition to your daily health routine.

    1. May support heart health

    Heart disease currently reigns as the leading cause of death in the United States. However, studies show that regular consumption of fish, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, is linked to significantly lower rates of heart disease.

    Fish oil supplements have shown potential in improving several risk factors associated with heart disease. For starters, fish oil slightly increases your body’s good cholesterol (HDL) levels while significantly decreasing triglyceride levels by over 30%. Despite its benefits in improving heart disease risk factors, it's essential to note that fish oil supplements have yet to show clear evidence of preventing heart attacks or strokes.

    2. May help treat mental health conditions

    The brain is nearly 60% fat, and a good chunk of that fat is Omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain needs these special fats to work properly.

    Some studies suggest a correlation between lower omega-3 blood levels and certain mental health conditions. Supplementing your diet with fish oil may provide support for symptoms of some mental health disorders. Omega-3s could reduce the chances of psychotic disorders in those at risk.

    High doses of fish oil may help alleviate some symptoms of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. Still more research in this area due to the inconsistencies in current data.

    3. May support eye health

    Your eye health also relies on Omega-3 fats. Research suggests that people who don’t get enough Omega-3s are at greater risk of developing eye diseases.

    Eye health starts to deteriorate with age, contributing to conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Eating fish is linked to a reduced risk of AMD, though the results from fish oil supplements are less clear. However, the results on the beneficial effects of fish oil supplements on eye health remain uncertain.

    4. May reduce inflammation

    Inflammation is like your body's natural way of fighting off infections and healing wounds. But when it sticks around for too long, it can become a problem and lead to serious health issues like obesity, diabetes, depression, and heart disease.

    Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, fish oil could potentially help manage chronic conditions related to chronic inflammation. Fish oil potentially reduces the production of inflammatory molecules called cytokines, especially in people living with obesity or stress.

    VitaRx Tip

    These supplements may also help reduce joint pain and stiffness for those with rheumatoid arthritis. However, it's not entirely clear if fish oil can manage symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

    5. May support healthy skin

    Omega-3 fatty acids make up a large portion of your skin. That’s why maintaining a good supply of these essentials is crucial for your skin health, which tends to decline during old age or due to excessive sun exposure.

    Fish oil supplements may provide benefits for several skin disorders, like psoriasis and dermatitis. By replenishing the Omega-3 fatty acids in your skin, these supplements might help your skin stay healthy and strong.

    But that's not all – Omega-3s from fish oil may do a lot of good things for your overall health. Here's a table that shows you all the different ways fish oil could make you feel better and healthier. We've even included some research studies to back it up, so you can see how fish oil might be a valuable addition to your daily routine.

    • Heart health: May decrease triglycerides
    • Mental health: Potentially beneficial in the onset or symptoms of mental disorders
    • Eye health: Consumption linked to reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
    • Reduced inflammation: Suggested potential in treating conditions linked to chronic inflammation
    • Skin health: May support the health of the skin, your body's largest organ

    Advantages and disadvantages of consuming fish oil

    Before including fish oil in your diet, it's crucial to weigh the potential pros and cons to make an informed decision that aligns with your health needs.

    Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

    Here are some frequently asked questions about fish oil.

    Final thoughts

    Adding fish oil to your daily health routine can bring many potential benefits to your health. It might help your heart, improve your mental well-being, support your eyes, reduce inflammation, and even make your skin healthier.

    There are a lot of good things it can do! But it's important to think about everything when deciding if it's right for you.

    Sources and references


    Stephanie Wright avatar

    Stephanie brings over 13 years of diverse nursing experience to the table, having honed her expertise in critical care, mental health, and utilization management. Her journey as a registered nurse across these various healthcare sectors underscores her adaptability and deep commitment to patient care.

    Fact checker

    Dr. Dimitar Marinov avatar

    Dr. Marinov has years of experience in scientific research and preventive and clinical medicine. His publications in peer-reviewed journals are on nutritional status, physical activity, and musculoskeletal disorders among adolescents.

    At VitaRx, we're not just passionate about our work — we take immense pride in it. Our dedicated team of writers diligently follows strict editorial standards, ensuring that every piece of content we publish is accurate, current, and highly valuable. We don't just strive for quality; we aim for excellence.

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