When it comes to reaping the benefits afforded us by the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, salmon oil earns a well-deserved spot on the conversation. One way of taking advantage of salmon's omega-3 fatty acids is by buying, grilling and eating salmon; a healthy alternative is salmon oil that is offered in the form of a popular nutritional supplement. Salmon is an excellent source of the omega-3 (polyunsaturated) fatty acids. Per livestrong.com, each tablespoon of salmon oil, typically, contains 1.8 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) as well as 2.5 grams of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Together these acids are responsible for providing many of the health benefits we can enjoy, starting with cardiovascular health and a lowered risk of heart attack and coronary heart disease.
Salmon Oil Is VersatileSalmon oil's versatility also is evident in its ability to fight against inflammation within the body; it does this by inhibiting the functionality of NFkB, a gene that produces inflammation, which, in turn, not only plays a role in increasing the chances of heart disease but also in the development of rheumatoid arthritis. It helps to know that, according to Harvard University research cited by draxe.com, omega-3 fatty acid deficiency is one of the top 10 causes of death in America; close to 100,000 lives are lost each year because of the lack of omega-3. It's also important to know that the human body is incapable of producing omega-3 fatty acids on its own – they can only be obtained by what we consume.
Benefits SummaryHealth experts have identified more than a dozen benefits associated with salmon oil and other fish oils. Here's a few of the more noteworthy of those, some of them which have already been touched on to some degree:
- Cognitive function/Alzheimer's disease. Fish oil has long been recognized as beneficial to brain function; it not only can slow cognitive decline, it also can play a role in blocking brain atrophy in older adults. The omega-3 fatty acids can accomplish this, per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), by helping to maintain neuronal function and call-membrane integrity within the brain.
- Vision. One of the chief sources of vision loss among aging adults is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Various studies, in which some participants regularly consumed fatty fish with omega-3's while other participants consumed less or none, showed that the former had a significantly reduced risk of developing AMD.
- Infant health/neurodevelopment. Several studies have demonstrated that a mother's intake of seafood – namely fatty fish and omega-3 fatty acids – bear influence on a baby's birth weight, length of gestation and visual and cognitive development, among other health outcomes, per NIH.
- Cardiovascular disease. The awareness of a connection between omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular health benefits dates to the 1970s, when studies of the Greenland Inuit and other fish-eating populations showed less incidence of coronary events such as myocardial infarctions, per NIH. Eventually, trial data would bolster the hypothesis that omega-3's could reduce triglyceride levels, blood pressure and platelet aggregation.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Per the NIH, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the joints become chronically inflamed. Drugs used in treatment for RA usually include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids, while omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce RA-related symptoms and, therefore, decrease patients' reliance on these aforementioned drugs.
- Diabetes. The publication Brain Research published a study, per draxe.com, in which researchers found that fish oil can help in alleviating oxidative stress, which is centrally involved in the occurrence of diabetes-related complications. Also, per a separate study, the ingestion of fatty fish, such as salmon, can reduce the chances of developing complications related to eye-diabetes.
- Depression. Per draxe.com, research investigating fish oil consumption's effects on adolescents with a major depressive disorder discovered a 40-percent decrease in related symptoms. The study also identified noticeable enhancements in the brain's amino acid and nutrition content.