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Published on February 24, 2021

What Is Fish Oil Good For And Can It Give You Energy?

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What Is Fish Oil Good For And Can It Give You Energy?

At some point, you’ve probably come across information saying that fish oil is high in omega-3 and is a valuable supplement to take on a regular basis.

However, you may well have been sceptical of this information, as there are so many supplements being heavily marketed today, that it’s hard to know which ones are truly beneficial and which ones are simply a waste of money.

Plus, when it comes to fish oil, you may have heard that it can be a potential source of dangerous levels of the heavy metal mercury due to the industrial poisoning of our air and water over the last few decades.

It’s right to be sceptical about claims from supplement producers, but it’s also wise to know how to distinguish between good, healthy supplements from bad, unhealthy ones.

Personally, having to tackle multiple demands at work (as the CEO and founder of Lifehack) and in my family life (I have a wife and two kids), I started to notice that in the last few years that I was beginning to feel tired easily. When I was younger, I found it relatively easy to cope with these demands; but since hitting 40 years of age a short while ago, I noticed myself tiring quicker than I used to do before. I also noticed that I lacked the ‘get up and go’ that I used to have.

This noticeable decline in my energy levels led me to spend months researching and trying out different methods and supplements to help me regain my previous energy and productivity levels. One method I found that has conclusively worked has been to add fish oil to my daily diet. Quite frankly, it’s made a significant and positive difference to my health and well-being. I can now achieve the things I want to achieve at work, while still having ample energy to enjoy life with my family and friends.

I’ll give you all the information you need to know about fish oil — including whether it’s good for your energy and your brain — so you can make an informed choice on whether to add it to your diet or not.

What Is Fish Oil?

Let’s get started by taking a look at exactly what fish oil is.

Firstly, it’s important not to confuse fish oil with cod liver oil, krill oil or shark liver oil. These are different oils, that would need a different explanation, so in this article I’ll stick to just discussing fish oil.

Fish oil can be consumed either by eating cold-water fish or by taking it in supplement form. It’s derived from the tissues of oily fish such as herring, mackerel and salmon, and is loaded with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

Interestingly, fish don’t produce this oil on their own; the oil primarily comes from their consumption of algae and plankton.[1]

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It’s worth noting that the human body does not produce many of its own omega-3 fatty acids. It also can’t make omega-3 fatty acids from omega-6 fatty acids — which are common in our contemporary Western diet.

Extensive research has been done on EPA and DHA, which are two types of omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish oil. The research to date strongly suggests that these omega-3 fatty acids can offer numerous health benefits when consumed on a regular basis.[2]

Let’s look now at some of these benefits of fish oil, and whether you should choose to consume the oil or not.

Health Benefits of Taking Fish Oil

I’m sure you’re probably thinking… is fish oil good for you?

Fish oil is a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are actually essential to the proper operation of our brain and body. Without these fatty acids, we’ll always be running below par.

So what exactly are the omega-3 fish oil benefits?

Here are the benefits of fish oil:[3]

  1. Boost brain power and mental clarity
  2. Fight anxiety and depression
  3. Improve sleep
  4. Improve eye health
  5. Promote brain health during pregnancy and early life
  6. Improve the condition of the skin
  7. Ffight age-related mental decline
  8. Fight inflammation
  9. Help with weight loss
  10. Improve risk factors for heart disease
  11. Help prevent cancer
  12. Fight Autoimmune Diseases

Find out more in this article: 11 Benefits of Fish Oil That You Didn’t Know About

Now, you might look at that list and think that many of the health benefits are not directly related to your energy and productivity. But please look again, as any ailment, disease or disorder will definitely impact your overall energy and well-being.

In my research of fish oil, I was surprised to discover that men and women benefit differently from it.

One of the key gender differences is how omega-3 fatty acids affect the ‘stickiness’ of blood. A 2010 trial by scientists from Australia’s University of Newcastle found that EPA and DHA reacted differently in males and females when it came to helping prevent a tendency for platelets in the blood clumping together to form dangerous clots (known as platelet aggregation).

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The scientists discovered that while the combination EPA and DHA both reduced platelet aggregation, there was a gender difference. Namely, EPA was significantly more effective in men, compared with DHA or placebo capsules — while DHA was significantly more effective in women, compared with EPA or placebo capsules.[4]

The University of Newcastle scientists proposed that the differences could be caused by differing interactions between the male and female sex hormones and the two omega-3s (EPA and DHA).

It’s important to note that, despite the gender differences, the study does not undermine the health benefits of consuming fish oil.

Whether you’re a man or a woman, fish oil will help you to stay fit, healthy and energetic.

Where Can You Reap the Benefits of Fish Oil?

If you’re interested in adding fish oil to your diet to help your energy and health, then you have a couple of choices.

Firstly, as you’re probably aware, you can get fish oil directly from eating cold-water fish. Some of the best fish varieties to go for (that supply the most omega-3s) are:[5]

However, if you don’t like the taste of these fish, or you don’t have the opportunity to eat them regularly, then the alternative is to take a fish oil supplement.

In my experience, fish oil supplements vary widely in price, quality and purity. Some of the high-street brands just don’t offer sufficient omega-3 quantities to make them a worthwhile investment.

Personally, and after many months of experimentation, I now take one capsule per day of Infuel Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplement. This premium fish oil is loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids with high EPA and DHA content. These fish oil pills benefits include:

  • Promoting brain health
  • Improving heart health
  • Maintaining healthy bones and joints
  • Improving skin tone and texture
  • Enhancing sleep
  • Boosting energy and well-being

I recommend that you give Infuel Omega 3 Fish Oil a try. It’s only $12.95 for 60 soft gels, with each gel containing a generous 1,200mg of high-quality fish oil providing 720mg of omega-3s.

I believe it will make a positive and significant difference to the way you tackle your work and home life. You’ll have the mental and physical strength to overcome whatever challenges life throws at you.

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Try it and see for yourself the many benefits of fish oil supplements.

If you’re looking for more options, check out this article: 5 Best Fish Oil Supplements to Buy For A Healthier Brain

How Much Fish Oil Should I Take Daily?

Whether through eating fish or taking a supplement, there is an optimum amount of fish oil that you should take on a daily basis. (I’ll answer the question ‘So how much fish oil is too much?’ in a moment.)

Of course, this will vary from person to person. A small child will obviously need less than a 6-foot man, for instance.

So how much fish oil is too much?

As a general rule, if you’re eating two to three portions of oily fish a week, then you will be ingesting a healthy amount of omega-3 fatty acids. But if you don’t eat much fish, then supplementation is definitely the way to go.

Currently, there isn’t an agreed standard for how many omega-3s we should consume each day, but suggestions range from a fish oil daily dosage of 500mg to 1,000mg.[6]

You may also want to look at this fish oil dosage chart created by Omega 3 Innovation:[7]

    *Level of EPA/DHA depends on the species, time of year, how the fish is prepared, whether it was farm raised or wild caught, etc.

    Questions you might have at this point: ‘Can you consume too much fish oil?’ and ‘Are there omega-3 fish oil side effects?’.

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    According, to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), omega-3 supplements containing EPA and DHA are safe provided doses don’t exceed 3,000 mg per day.

    However, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has a different position, stating that doses up to 5,000 mg per day from supplements is safe.

    It’s important that you stick to these cautions as excessive intake of omega-3s can cause blood thinning in some people. It’s because of this that many organizations recommend people who have surgery planned stop taking omega-3 supplements 1–2 weeks beforehand.[8]

    There’s also the risk of taking too much Vitamin A, which can be toxic in high doses and lead to liver problems and hair loss. It may also harm unborn babies, so pregnant mothers should avoid fish oil and Vitamin A supplements.[9]

    Personally, given that 5,000 mg of omega-3s has never been shown to provide any added benefits, I strongly advise you to stay within the safe intake limits. It will protect your health — and your bank balance!

    What’s the best time to take fish oil?

    Feel free to take it every day. It can also be consumed at any time of the day.

    Having said that, you might want to split your daily fish oil consumption into two smaller doses — one for the morning, one for the evening. This can help reduce any potential acid reflux and indigestion effects that you might get from consuming the oil.[10]

    Fish Oil Can Be Your Energy-Boosting Friend

    I hope this article has helped you to see some of the amazing health benefits that consuming fish oil on a regular basis can bring; and answered your questions such as: ‘Why take fish oil?’ and ‘When to take fish oil?’ and ‘How much fish oil per day?’.

    For me, having taken fish oil supplements for several years now, I’ve definitely noticed a major uptick in my overall health and well-being. I have way more energy than before. Plus I feel more physically and mentally resilient that I’ve done in a very long time.

    I’d encourage you to try consuming fish oil for a few months (unless you’re pregnant or going into surgery) to see the positive effects for yourself.

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    I’m confident that after a few months — you won’t want to stop taking it!

    Featured photo credit: Caroline Attwood via unsplash.com

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    More by this author

    Leon Ho

    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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    Published on October 19, 2021

    13 Fish Oil Benefits For Women And Men

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    13 Fish Oil Benefits For Women And Men

    Fish oils are great sources of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. Omega fats are essential, meaning that they can’t be synthesized in your body and have to be eaten in your diet. Omega-3 is synthesized by microalgae—not by fish—but accumulates in the tissue when they are eaten by fish and shellfish further up the food chain. Oily fish contains about 30% fat in their tissues, and this is where the omega fatty acids are found. There are many claims about omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils. But what is the evidence of the real benefits of fish oil for men and women? Can fish oils really improve your brain health, reduce your cholesterol, or help your heart?

    Learn about the role of omega-3 as signaling molecules, in cell membranes, arthritis, and even eye disease. Find out the main benefits of fish oil for men and women and how to get enough.

    What Are Omega Fatty Acids?

    There are two types of fats or fatty acids that are essential and can’t be produced in our bodies: omega-3 and omega-6. Omega-3 can be broken down into three main forms: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fish oils contain DHA and EPA omega fatty acids and are a good source of these essential fats.

    13 Benefits of Fish Oil (Omega Fatty Acids)

    There are several different health benefits of omega fatty acids. Below are the 13 most common fish oil benefits for men and women.

    1. Structural Role in Cells

    Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids have an important structural role, as they are needed for cell membranes. You have an estimated 724 trillion cells in your body, and that is a lot of cell membranes to keep healthy.

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    2. Energy Source

    Both omega-3 and -6 are sources of energy, just like any other fat source. This means they can be used alongside energy from carbohydrates to power your body, providing energy for essential functions and exercise.

    3. Signaling Molecules

    Omega fatty acids are used to form signaling molecules called eicosanoids, comprised of prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes that have extremely important functions within our bodies.

    Prostaglandins

    There are many different prostaglandins with wide-ranging roles, such as the sensation of pain, inflammation, regulation of pregnancy and birth, control of blood pressure, secretion of stomach acid, contraction, and relaxation of smooth muscle.

    Thromboxanes

    Thromboxanes regulate blood clotting by causing constriction of blood vessels and the aggregation of platelets (so they stick together), which are early steps in blood clotting.

    Leukotrienes

    Leukotrienes are involved in immune function by attracting immune cells, such as neutrophils, to sites of inflammation. They also constrict bronchioles in the lungs and make capillary walls permeable.

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    4. Prevent Heart Diseases

    Cardiovascular events are diseases related to blood vessels, such as clots, rhythm problems, and heart attacks. Studies have found that ALA may reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.[1][2]

    5. Decrease Cholesterol and Triglycerides

    Triglycerides are part of your cholesterol profile. Higher levels are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Studies have found that there is an inverse relationship between omega-3 and triglyceride levels.[3] This means that an increased intake of omega-3 led to a decrease in triglycerides and that higher doses of omega-3 led to a greater effect. This effect was stronger in people who already had raised triglycerides.

    One of the ways of decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease is by lowering your cholesterol. One study found that EPA and DHA decreased triglycerides by about 15% and reduced the risk of coronary artery death and coronary events, which are illnesses of arteries supplying the heart.

    6. Improve Brain Health

    A grouped meta-analysis has not found any link between omega 3 and dementia, but more information is needed to see if omega-3 can prevent cognitive decline. Learn more about this here: How Fish Oil Boosts Your Mental Clarity And Brain Power

    7. Help With Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Omega-3 supplements have been found to benefit the clinical outcomes of rheumatoid arthritis and may even delay the need for medications.[4][5]

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    8. Decrease Progression of Osteoarthritis

    A large prospective study in patients with wear and tear (osteoarthritis OA) found that a higher intake of total and saturated fat was associated with an increased risk of worsening OA, whereas a higher intake of unsaturated fats was associated with decreased progression of OA measured via X-rays.[6]

    The current opinion is that the metabolic products of omega-3 fatty acids are less inflammatory than those produced from omega6 fatty acids. Western diets are associated with an imbalance of omega-3 and -6 such that instead of levels of omega-3 being higher than omega-6, the reverse is more commonly seen.

    9. Prevent Autoimmune Diseases

    There is also limited evidence that omega-3 supplementation may benefit people with other types of autoimmune arthropathies like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), but more research is needed.

    10. Good For Eye Health

    The macula is part of the retina at the back of the eye, and although it is tiny—only about 5mm across—it has a very important role in vision. It is responsible for our central vision, most of our color vision, and the fine detail of what we see. Getting enough omega-3 is linked to a reduced risk of macular degeneration, one of the world’s leading causes of permanent eye damage and blindness.[7][8]

    11. Boost Your Mood

    It is suggested that omega-3 may play a role in the prevention and treatment of depression. However, meta-analyses of the data have not confirmed clear benefits. Instead, more research looking at the effect of supplementing omega-3 in people with depression is needed.[9]

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    12. Lower Blood Pressure

    The evidence of the benefit of omega-3 fatty acids on high blood pressure (hypertension) is mixed with large-scale studies showing either no effect or a small reduction in risk of hypertension.[10][11] Omega-3 fats do have other health benefits, though. They are unlikely to do harm and are easily incorporated into your diet by eating oily fish twice a week and seeds, such as chia seeds, flaxseeds, and nuts.

    13. Help With Fertility

    Omega-3 appears to have a role in a healthy gamete (eggs and sperm) formation with consumption associated with increased probability of pregnancy and live birth rate.[12][13][14]

    Where Are Omega Fatty Acids Found?

    If you are allergic to fish or don’t eat it, how can you get enough omega-3? There are other sources of ALA is found in plant oils, such as flaxseed, soybean, and canola oils. DHA and EPA are found in oily fish, fish oils, and krill oils. DHA and EPA are synthesized by microalgae, not by the fish, but they accumulate in the tissue when they are eaten by fish and shellfish further up the food chain.

    Final Thoughts

    While there is evidence of the benefits for eye health, arthritis, improved cholesterol, and heart health, evidence to support the benefits of fish oil in helping high blood pressure, protecting brain health, and preventing dementia are less convincing.

    Studies have found a “whole food effect” where eating oily fish appears to be more beneficial than supplementing with a fish or cod liver oil. There are also other plant-based sources of omega-3. Although some of these studies suggest that the more omega-3 the better, there is a limit to the recommended dose of supplements unless prescribed by your doctor.

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    Omega-3 supplements may interfere with warfarin, due to its anti-platelet role in clotting, so it’s best to check with your doctor before starting a supplement.

    Featured photo credit: Louis Hansel via unsplash.com

    Reference

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