If you would go to a local drugstore or to a health shop, you will find countless jars, bottles, and boxes of various food supplements all claiming to provide you with vitamins, minerals, and essential proteins to help get you into shape. There are herbal extracts and animal products that are said to be natural sources of such substances. And one of the many extracts sold is fish oil.
Fish oil is considered to have quite a number of health benefits. Everyone can benefit from the nutrients that fish oil provides. Women can also get certain benefits from fish oil. So, what are the health benefits of fish oil for women?
What is fish oil?
Fish oil is the oil extracted from oily fishes. It can be obtained by consuming the actual fish or by food supplements. These oily fishes include tuna, mackerel, salmon, mullet, sturgeon, anchovy, bluefish, trout, herring, menhaden, and sardines. These fishes are especially rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Fish oil supplements are usually sold as soft gel capsules. These supplements are usually made from herring, salmon, halibut, tuna, mackerel, whale blubber, seal blubber, or cod liver. The fish oil supplements may sometimes be combined with some vitamin E to prevent it from spoiling. Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, and/or D, as well as iron and calcium may be added into the softgels.
Health benefits of fish oil
Fish oil has a lot of benefits for both men and women. And among all these benefits, fish oil is widely used and recommended for its positive effects on the circulatory system and other conditions related to the cardiovascular system. Fish oil lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It has also been tried for preventing heart diseases and stroke. There are actually scientific evidences that back up these claims. Fish oil really does lower the levels of triglycerides (fats related to cholesterol). And if taken in the right amount, fish oil helps prevent heart disease and stroke. However, if taken in excess, fish oil can lead to a higher risk of stroke.
Fish oil is also used for dry eyes, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and glaucoma. Other conditions wherein fish oil is used are diabetes, developmental coordination disorders, asthma, movement disorders, obesity, kidney disorders, dyslexia, weak bones, and psoriasis. Fish oil is also used to prevent weight loss due to certain cancer drugs.
Benefits of fish oil for women
Fish oil has a lot of benefits. But its benefits do not end with those mentioned above. Fish oil also has benefits that are specifically for women. These benefits include:
• Preventing and treating breast cancer. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in women. There are a number of studies that show that Omega-3 fatty acids present in the fish oil can prevent the occurrence of cancer. There is also evidence that show fish oil, combined with propofol in treatment, can significantly slow down the spread of the cancer cells. It also induces cancer cell death.
• Preventing cervical cancer. Another cancer disease that fish oil prevents is cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the cause of about 4,000 deaths in women each year. Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). And studies have shown that DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil, can inhibit the growth and progression of the precancerous cells mutated by the HPV.
• Aids in pregnancy. Fish oil is highly beneficial for pregnant women. DHA present in fish oil helps in the development of the eyes and brain of the baby. Fish oil also aids in preventing premature births, low weight at delivery, and miscarriage. It also alleviates post partum depression.
• Relieves premenstrual syndromes (PMS). There are some symptoms of PMS that may be too difficult to handle for some women. These include abdominal cramps, headaches, and fatigue. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can be converted into prostaglandins. Prostaglandins increase muscle relaxation, reduce menstrual cramps, and alleviate pain. Studies have shown that women who take fish oil have less PMS symptoms compared to women who do not.
• Prevents postmenopausal depression. Because of the changing amounts of hormones, women who are near or are undergoing the menopausal stage, particularly those within the age group of 45 to 50, may suffer from depression. Estrogen replacement therapy may be used but it increases the risks for breast cancer. Fish oil can significantly lessen the depressive symptoms and prevent breast cancer as well.
• Skin care. Fish oil is also great for the skin. Fish oil replenishes the skin making it shiny and glowing. It is also perfect for treating some skin problems like psoriasis, eczema, itching, and rashes. The EPA present in the fish oil restricts the growth of pro-inflammatory agents. Fish oil may be applied topically, especially in cases of psoriasis. It is also helpful in treating acne. The EPA inhibits the formation of androgen, which can affect the formation of sebum in the hair follicle. Regular intake of fish oil makes your skin moisturized.
Fish oil does indeed have countless benefits for men and women alike. It helps treat and prevent a number of diseases and conditions. But to be sure that you get the health benefits you deserve, always check the label and only take the recommended amount of fish oil. Like in the case of pregnant women, they should stay away from oil obtained from the liver.