Originally published December 6 2012
Five ways fish oil protects your heart and body
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) There are a number of scientifically-proven reasons why supplementing with high-quality fish oil is an important part of a healthy diet. Your brain, joints, muscles, heart, and skin all rely on the omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients in fish oil to function as they should -- without these nutrients, your body is much more prone to disease, degradation, and ultimately death. Here are five specific ways that fish oil helps prevent disease and promote lasting health and longevity:
1) Fish oil reduces disease-causing inflammation. Fish oil contains two powerful omega-3s, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), that have been shown in numerous scientific studies to quell inflammation. When taken regularly, fish oil that contains a high ratio of both EPA and DHA can help lower the inflammatory response associated with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and chronic back pain, as well as protect against the development of these and other diseases that often result from chronic inflammation.
A 2008 study published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, for instance, found that fish oil actually promotes the body's own natural healing response to inflammation. Based on the findings, the omega-3s in fish oil help modulate the body's immune response by maximizing healing potential and minimizing inflammatory damage, which in turn buffers the bodily conditions that typically lead to chronic illness. (http://www.naturalnews.com/024711_inflammation_oil_fish.html)
2) Fish oil protects against cancer. EPA and DHA, the two most widely-researched components of fish oil, also appear to be powerful cancer fighters, as illustrated in a 2010 study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Researchers from Seattle, Washington, found that women who regularly supplement with fish oils rich in EPA and DHA are roughly 32 percent less likely to develop the most common forms of breast cancer. (http://www.naturalnews.com/029235_fish_oil_breast_cancer.html)
Similarly, a 2001 study published in the Lancet journal revealed that fish oil effectively inhibits the onset and spread of prostate cancer in men. The researchers involved with that particular study concluded that the DHA in fish oil is primarily responsible for thwarting prostate cancer, as this essential fatty acid activates a receptor in the body that possesses known anticancer properties. (http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/29340)
3) Fish oil slows the aging process. Besides chronic inflammation, one of the primary causes of rapid aging is a shortening of DNA chromosomes known as telomeres, which are located on the ends of DNA strands. Over time, these telomeres, which act as "time keepers," shorten, which slows the division of chromosomes responsible for sustaining health. Telomeres that are too short are also unable to facilitate the creation and repair of stem cells. (http://www.naturalnews.com/037360_aging_telomere_longevity.html)
Supplementing with fish oil; however, can help protect the integrity of telomeres, which in turn can help slow the aging process. Researchers from Ohio State University (OSU) discovered recently that healthy adults who supplemented with between 1.25 grams and 2.5 grams of fish oil every day for four months altered their fatty acid profiles so significantly that the telomeres in their white blood cells remained far more preserved than normal. (http://www.naturalnews.com/037407_fish_oil_anti-aging_supplements.html)
4) Fish oil lubricates joints and builds muscle. Whether you suffer occasionally from acute joint pain following a heavy workout, or chronic joint pain in the form of gout or arthritis, you can benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects of fish oil. Often referred to as a joint lubricant, fish oil effectively targets the molecules that cause inflammatory flareups, as well as helps balance the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, making it an effective pain reliever in a variety of contexts. (http://www.naturalnews.com/026806_pain_fish_oil.html)
Since EPA and DHA are capable of being stored in the phospholipid bilayer of cells when taken in high enough doses, fish oil can also be a powerful muscle builder. Based on the science, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil help promote protein synthesis while limiting degradation, which is the perfect combination building lean body mass. (http://www.bodybuilding.com)
5) Fish oil protects against heart attacks, promotes brain health. The cardioprotective benefits of fish oil are perhaps its most well known attributes, as omega-3 fatty acids have been shown time and time again to protect both the heart and cardiovascular system against debilitating illness. Clinical evidence shows that omega-3s protect against high cholesterol by reducing systemic inflammation, as well as balance blood pressure and protect against heart disease.
Omega-3s also play a crucial role in brain health, as a significant portion of brain tissue is composed of these fatty acids. Supplementing with fish oil, in other words, can remedy a host of cognitive abnormalities like chronic "brain fog," depression, neurological disorders, and dementia. Metabolically, omega-3s protect nerves, cells, and various other components of the brain against stress and inflammation, which in turn helps protect memory, hormone production, and nervous system function. (http://www.naturalnews.com/033580_omega-3_cognitive_function.html)
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