Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Fish oils, also known as marine oils, are essential fatty acids (lipids) found in fish, particularly cold water fish, and other marine life such as phytoplankton.
These oils are rich sources of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) of the n-3 (omega-3) type. The two most studied fish oil fatty acids are the 20 carbon eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and the 22-carbon docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).Following ingestion EPA and DHA are transported by the circulatory system to various tissues of the body where they are used mainly for the synthesis of phospholipids.
These phopholipids in turn are incorporated into the cell membranes of blood platelets, blood cells and central nervous system cells, as well as many others. DHA, in particular, is a vital component of the phospholipids which make up the cellular membranes of the brain and retina.
Most fish oil supplements are about 20 EPA and 10 DHA, or a total of 30 omega-3. These omega-3 fatty acids, unlike the omega-3 fatty acid found in flaxseed oil and other vegetable oils, help to keep blood triglycerides in check and may protect against atherosclerosis.
Suggested Health Benefits of Fish Oil Supplementation :-
Fish oils may primarily be indicated to lower triglyceride levels in those with hypertriglyceridemia. Another important indication may be to prevent death in those who have suffered myocardial infarctions. However, studies indicate that fish oil supplementation may be valuable in preventing a number of conditions including the following:
Crohn’s Disease :-
Fish oil may help to prevent relapse in Crohn's disease. The results of one double-blind trial of individuals with Crohn's disease showed that subjects taking fish oil experienced a significantly reduced relapse rate. The fish oil used in this trial was enterically coated free fatty acid form that provided .9 grams of DHA and 1.8 grams of EPA daily. No adverse side effects were reported.
High Blood Pressure :- Fish oil supplementation may be useful for lowering blood pressure. Analysis of 17 controlled studies indicated that supplementation with at least 3 grams of fish oil daily can lead to clinically relevant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in individuals with untreated hypertension. Doses in these trials ranged from 1 to 15 grams of EPA and DHA.
High Triglycerides :- In one double-blind study 234 men were randomly selected and divided into three groups. Each group was given 3.8 grams daily of EPA, in the form of ethyl ester, 3.6 grams daily of DHA, in the form of ethyl ester or a placebo. When compared to the placebo group triglyceride levels decreased by 26 in the DHA group and over 20 in the EPA group. However, the effect of fish oil on LDL (bad) cholesterol varies, and in some people, fish oil supplementation has been reported to increase LDL levels.
Rheumatoid Arthritis :- Some people with rheumatoid arthritis have been found to have lower than normal levels of fish oil containing omega-3 fatty acids in the fluid and blood in their joints. Studies have shown that EPA and DHA, like those found in fish oil, help to inhibit the synthesis of the inflammatory cytokines TNF (tumor necrosis factor)-alpha and IL(interleukin)-1 beta in both healthy individuals and those with rheumatoid arthritis. It has been reported that daily supplementation with 3 grams of EPA and DHA mixtures for three months or longer may reduce the number of tender joints and severity of morning sickness in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. It has also been reported that Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis that supplemented with EPA and DHA mixtures have been able lower their reliance anti-inflammatory drugs or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.
Fish Oil Health Benefits Of Other Health Issues :-
Asthma,Atherosclerosis,Bipolar disorder,Breast-feeding support,Cardiac arrhythmia,Cystic fibrosis (EPA),Depression,Eczema,Heart attack,Immune function (omega-3 fatty acids for critically ill and post surgery patients only),Kidney disease,Lupus,Osteoporosis (in combination with evening primrose oil),Phenylketonuria (if deficient in polyunsaturated fatty acids),Pre- and post-surgery health,Psoriasis,Raynaud's disease,Schizophrenia,Sickle cell anemia,Ulcerative colitis.
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