Fish oil has been increasingly gaining more popularity recently, and in turn receiving much more scientific research these days. This a good thing! While there are numerous benefits to adding fish oil supplementation into your lifestyle, we want to concentrate on the heart-healthy benefits of this nutritional powerhouse.
Who is Fish Oil for?
Luckily for us, fish oil is far and wide most likely the best supplement you can choose to add to your cupboard (of course eating a diet rich in fish is great, too!). Fish oil provides a wide array of benefits for athletes and sedentary people alike. You don’t need to be an athlete or a gym rat to reap the benefits of fish oil. Due to body composition benefits, anyone and everyone should be supplementing with fish oil. Bottom line – it’s awesome!
Fish oil’s primary components are fatty acids known as DHA and EPA. Why these are great is because in the human body, these can be stored in the bilayer of cells for future use. Yep it’s true! By consuming proper amounts of EPA and DHA containing fish oils, you can actually alter the chemical composition of the fats that make up the bilayer of your cells. What does this mean? The processes of your body that utilizes fats, now have these long chain and short chain fatty acids to utilize for energy and body function. Good stuff!
When we lift heavy weights, for example, inflammation is inevitable. While it is not concise as of yet, scientific research seems to believe that fish oil supplementation reduces inflammation and aids in exercise recovery. Not to mention that EPA and DHA has been surmised to help in muscle protein synthesis and prevent muscle degradation. Less muscle broken down and more muscle growth is a great thing, for all of us!
But enough tooting the horn of fish oil for muscular development and body composition. We are here to talk about the heart healthy benefits of fish oil.
Fish Oil and the Heart
It’s no secret that if your heart is healthy, you live longer. Crazy, right?
Worldwide studies have gradually improved our understanding of the link between fish oil and longer life expectancy.
For some proof of this, we look at the diet of Finnish fishermen (fishermen from Finland):
The diets of fishermen in Finland were found to be different compared to other North European populations. A higher fish intake led to higher blood levels of DHA and EPA, and a lower mortality from all causes.
Verdict: ingest more fish oil – live longer!
Referring to the study and info above, fish oil supplementation strengthens your heart.
A review of studies suggests an association between moderate eating of fish and fish oil and a reduced risk of developing heart disease. With coronary heart disease, one of the leading causes of death globally, the positive effect of fish is potentially very significant.
Too many people have high blood pressure these days. Whether it’s from genetics or general stress from everyday life, hypertension is a serious cause of ailments around the world. There have been tons of studies conducted on fish oil and lowering blood pressure.
Studies have been carried out to see how omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids might impact blood pressure. In one study when compared with plant sourced oils, such as linoleic acid (omega 6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega 3), fish oil-derived EPA and DHA lowered blood pressure (BP). While more work is needed the indications to date show that omega 3 marine oils do seem to help lower BP
We can’t safely say “fish oil lowers blood presure” and get away with it, but it’s safe to say that supplementing with fish oil can at least reduce your chances of high blood pressure.
These main points are what Gone Liftin’ is interested in. For more benefits and information on the powers of fish oil, go and read Fish Oil and Heart Health, and don’t forget to check out our other fish oil and fatty acid articles: Flax Seed Oil vs. Fish Oil, and Do Fish Oil Supplements Cause Cancer In Men?