Benefits Of Fish Oil

Published 5/16/13

What Is Fish Oil?

Fish oil is a type of oil that comes from the tissues and belly cavities of oily fish, including salmon, trout, mackerel, cod and sardines. Fillets from these types of fish contain up to 30% oil. The oils from these fish are great sources of vitamin A, vitamin D, and Omega 3 fatty acids.

Fish Oil Benefits

The list of health benefits that fish oil has to offer stems from the high level of Omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) that fish oil contains. The range of fish oil benefits includes fighting inflammation, aiding muscle protein synthesis while limiting protein degradation, aiding insulin control and function, and helping support healthy blood flow and circulation. While there are other supplement options that include EFAs, fish oil is considered by many to be the best option.

Muscles Love Fish Oil

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), two essential Omega 3 fatty acids, are the two main active components found in fish oil. These fatty acids are called “essential” because the body needs them to be able to properly function. The problem with these fatty acids is that our body cannot produce them; they must be obtained via food consumption or supplements.

One benefit of EPA and DHA is their ability to fight inflammation, whether its from excessive physical activity or injury.  These EFAs can also reduce the risk of inflammation related diseases such as cancer, asthma, depression and cardiovascular disease. With the consumption of EPA and DHA the injury or muscle recovery time can be significantly reduced. EPA and DHA can also aid muscle recovery by supporting the process of muscle protein synthesis and by limiting the amount of protein degradation. The simple formula describing the process of gaining muscle is described as the rate of muscle synthesis minus muscle degradation. Since EPA and DHA benefits both sides of the equation it can lead to an increased rate of muscle growth.   

Fish Oil Nutrition

Besides Omega 3 fatty acids, fish oil also contains high levels of protein, vitamins and minerals. The highest vitamin concentration is found with vitamin A, which is an antioxidant and infection fighter, and vitamin D, which supports the calcium and phosphorous absorption and metabolism processes. 

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