Health Benefits of Fish Oil, Maintain Heart Health to Good for Pregnant Women

Fish oil is often one of the main ingredients of supplements, whether in capsules, pills, or liquids, to help treat various types of diseases. What exactly is the content and properties of this fish oil?

Fish oil can be obtained by consuming fish directly or in supplement form. Fish oil is special because it contains omega-3s, which are essential fatty acids that are necessary for health, but are not produced naturally by the body.

There are two types of omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil, namely docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

Tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel are examples of fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Every 100 grams of these fish contains approximately 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids.

Health Benefits of Fish Oil

Research has found that fish oil has a number of benefits, including:

1. Reducing triglyceride levels

Fish oil has been shown to lower triglyceride levels in the blood. The risk of developing heart disease increases with high levels of triglycerides in the body.

2. Maintain heart health

Eating fish rich in fish oil can help maintain heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease. Research shows that those who regularly consume fish oil have a lower risk of heart attack and have better controlled blood pressure.

3. Prevent blockage of blood vessels

Fish oil can prevent blockage of blood vessels (atherosclerosis). Research shows that taking fish oil can lower bad cholesterol levels and prevent inflammation, thereby reducing the risk of clogged arteries.

4. Good for pregnant women

Besides being good for general health conditions, fish oil also has many benefits for pregnant women. The DHA and EPA content in fish oil can reduce the risk of preeclampsia, preterm labor, and increase the baby's birth weight.

5. Reducing the need for asthma drugs

Fish oil is able to reduce the need for asthma medications in some children, but not in adults.

6. Potential for cancer prevention

Fish oil, which is popularly consumed as a health supplement, is often associated with its health benefits for cancer prevention. However, so far research has shown that these claims are imprecise, as they have not found any effect of fish oil consumption on reducing cancer risk.

Is Fish Oil a Risk?

Although it is rich in nutrients and has various benefits, consumption of fish oil in high doses can actually endanger health. There are several risks that may be caused, including:
  • Increase the risk of bleeding if you consume more than 3 grams of fish oil per day.
  • Raised levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol.
  • Trigger blood sugar levels.
  • In patients with heart transplants, omega-3 fatty acids can affect heart rate.
  • Some fish such as mackerel and albacore tuna are at risk of containing mercury toxins, although not necessarily in fish oil.
  • Fish oil has the potential to affect the action of certain medications, such as blood thinners.
  • Too much fish oil can increase the risk of stroke.
  • May cause heartburn, nausea, rash, nosebleeds, and loose stools.

Fish oil at low doses is relatively safe for most people, for example, pregnant and breastfeeding women. However, considering the condition and medical history of each person is different, you should consult a doctor before consuming fish oil to avoid unwanted risks.

To maximize its nutrition, it is recommended that fish oil be consumed in its original form, not in the form of a supplement that has been processed. Because no matter how many nutrients you get from supplements, it is not proportional to the nutritional content that is obtained directly from fish meat.

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