You might think of salmon as a healthy yet versatile entree but probably don’t realize the impressive health benefits of this cold-water fish. Whether broiled, pan-seared, or grilled with nice diamond-style char marks, eating this type of fish offers many health benefits. Even medical experts recommend we eat oily fish twice a week for better fitness and heart health. However, if you want to get the most health benefits every day without eating salmon, taking a salmon oil supplement is a good idea.
These come in a liquid or soft gel form and are usually taken daily by mouth. Salmon oil, which is extracted from the muscle, contains the omega fats needed to help the muscles and cell function. Salmon is one of the few oily fish types with an abundance of two key omega-3 fatty acids – docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). In short, these acids are known to reduce the bad cholesterol you may have while adding good cholesterol at the same time.
The bad, also known as LDL or low-density lipoprotein, often results from poor diet or may be hereditary. It is also the main factor of heart disease. If you are like most people with a mild or moderate case, it’s possible to achieve ideal HDL cholesterol levels through diet and exercise in addition to taking a salmon oil supplement. In these cases, DHA and EPA provide enough HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, to improved blood flow, which protects the circulatory and vascular systems.
While you may have seen DHA and EPA marked on many over-the-counter supplement labels, there are benefits you, as the average consumer, may not be aware of regarding these fats. By consuming more DHA and EPA in a daily diet, you can reverse elevated cholesterol levels. A government health agency recently reported a two-month study where patients who took a normal daily dosage of salmon oil brought them closer to HDL cholesterol levels by an average of 27%.
Most docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplements are made with herring, sardine, or tuna oil, which is good but isn’t as beneficial as supplements made from salmon. Salmon oil not only contains more omega fats but has vitamin B-12, which adds to the health benefits.
If you’re suffering from high blood pressure or cholesterol, you should know that eating foods rich in omega fatty acids offer a reduced risk of having coronary heart disease or a stroke. Or you may be one of those people who do not visit the doctor regularly and are unaware of your blood pressure numbers or lipid count. Salmon oil may make a difference in reversing these numbers and improved blood flow.
In addition to having a diet that promotes heart health, reducing inflammation is another way to protect your circulatory and vascular systems. While you may think of inflammation as something external, like the presence of pus or skin reddening, internal inflammation can be harder to detect. If you constantly have body aches or feel fatigued, the cure may be in your diet. When this happens often, your blood flow, heart, immune system, and other organs may be affected.
Another ingredient that occurs naturally in salmon is selenium. This trace mineral is known to boost your immune system as well as possibly prevent cardiovascular disease. It is also an antioxidant that protects your body against free radicals linked to various forms of cancer. These natural properties add to the health benefits that salmon oil supplements present.
If you want to get the best value for your money, a salmon oil supplement is the better choice. Some brands use fish types that do not have as much muscle protein or omega fats as salmon. While some of these supplements may be priced lower, in some cases, the impressive health benefits may take longer for you to notice.
Even with krill oil, which comes from small cold-water crustaceans that resemble tiny shrimp, the health benefits are debatable. A 2011 study showed that a person would have to consume twice as much krill oil to get the equivalent amount of EPA and DHA found in fish oil.
Despite this factor, many krill oil supplements are priced higher than most omega fatty fish supplements. Yet, the amount of krill oil research isn’t as comprehensive compared to omega fats studies that span more than half a century. Additionally, krill oil isn’t recommended if you have a shellfish allergy. While both are beneficial, salmon oil is the resource with maximum omega fatty acid benefits.
You may benefit and possibly reverse many ailments by making sensible food choices, along with taking salmon oil supplements regularly. While increasing salmon intake is a good start, preparation is where some people tend to get lost. You should try cooking with fresh or dried herbs instead of using marinades or rubs that are high in sodium. Also, deep-frying in cooking oil breaks down the fatty acids’ effectiveness that presents the best health benefits.
Benefits of Salmon oil
1. Encourages Heart Health and Fights inflammation
Salmon oil may fight body inflammation that can damage your blood vessels, leading to heart disease and strokes. Omega fatty also benefits your heart by lowering blood pressure slightly, decreasing blood clots, and reducing irregular heartbeats. Irregular heartbeats, also known as arrhythmias, can be fatal if you have pre-existing health concerns, such as high blood pressure or elevated triglycerides.
Salmon oil contains a natural compound nitric oxide, which helps your blood vessels relax. This reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels so that blood and oxygen will flow better through your body’s circulatory system. Experts encourage you to eat right and engage in regular physical activity to achieve the ideal HDL cholesterol levels and improved blood flow, in addition to taking salmon oil supplements.
2. Alleviates Anxiety and Similar Disorders
Although study results have been mixed, other factors like diet and physical activity could play a role in the effectiveness of taking salmon oil. Some early research studies suggest that taking a regular dosage of omega fats, along with prescribed antidepressants, can alleviate your feelings of anxiousness or depression. If you’re in treatment, you should discuss options with your physician before taking any salmon oil supplements.
3. Promote Healthy Hair, Skin, and Vision
Omega fatty acids have been proven to reduce the risk of eye diseases like glaucoma and age-related macular disease. It’s the docosahexaenoic acid or DHA that plays a strong role in your vision protection. This fatty acid is not only the most complex of the omega fats but the most difficult to consume since DHA can only be found in a few food sources.
Since omega fats have anti-inflammatory properties, fish oil helps open up your hair follicles and promote hair growth, thereby making up for daily hair loss. Also, omega fatty acids are a healthy fat that prevents dry and flaky scalp without heavy oils that clog the skin. While salmon oil may be ideal for deep conditioning or hot oil treatments, it’s important to not use extreme heat since this causes the fatty acids to break down.
According to medical experts, the topical application of omega fats can present just as many health benefits for your skin as ingesting it. The omega fatty acids found in salmon oil act as an anti-inflammatory agent and protect skin from sun damage. It can also alleviate dermatitis and psoriasis symptoms, as well as help most wounds heal faster. Some users report it reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
4. Lessens Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain
Experts suggest that the omega fats in salmon oil can reduce the joint pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis and boost the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory medications. Some users report that regular use of fish oil has made enough of a difference in their condition that they could successfully give up prescribed medicines. While cod liver oil was once considered an excellent choice for arthritis treatment, medical experts have found that its high levels of vitamins A & D can be toxic if your diet is already high in vitamins.
5. Improves Brain Health in Children and Older Adults
Salmon oil may help age-related memory loss as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. The omega fats have a proven history of improving your brain function. Taking omega fats regularly can help concentration and increase attention spans in young children. However, salmon oil has also been proven to help brain health for those of advanced age as well.
Studies have shown that the fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been proven to reduce cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s in older adults. In a test tube study, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) plays a role in developing and repairing neural cells. Neural cells are part of the nervous system that aids in the processing and transmission of information.
Side Effects and Detriments of Salmon oil
While experts don’t recommend that you cook with salmon oil, it’s best to keep oily fish products stored in a cool, dark space. Once a container has been opened, you should double-check the cap or lid for tightness after closing. Also, you can easily reduce side effects by ingesting just the recommended salmon oil dosage.
1. Excessive blood thinning can be dangerous
If you take supplements or prescribed medication, such as Warfarin, to improve blood flow, you need to inquire with your physician. Salmon oil may make the blood so thin that it is unable to clot and possibly cause a person to have a stroke. This may also happen if you take more than the recommended dosage for a long time.
2. Digestive problems may persist
Most users complain of excessive belching, diarrhea, gas, indigestion, and in some cases, nausea. This can also come from increasing fiber intake or transitioning into healthier eating habits. However, if your side effects become disruptive, it is best to stop taking this supplement or consult a physician.
3. Elevated blood sugar levels
Large doses of omega fats stimulate glucose levels, resulting in long-term blood sugar elevation in Type-2 diabetics. If you have diabetes but want to try a fish oil product to manage high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol, you should first talk to a doctor or specialist. They can prescribe a regimen that’s both safe and effective.
4. Rash or Allergic Reaction to Fish Oil
If you have a food allergy, such as nuts, shellfish, or soy, you should read the list of ingredients before buying. As indicated above, not all omega fat products are made equal and can make you feel worse instead of better. One way to lessen the likelihood of becoming ill is to use products made with pure salmon oil and no fillers.
Other Medication Interaction
If you take Alli, Xenical, or any orlistat product, a decreased absorption of dietary fats ingested is part of the weight loss process. Experts recommend taking these supplements at least two hours apart for the best results. It is also not advisable to take oral contraceptives.
Rating and Recommendations
Overall, salmon oil is a generally safe way for you to get omega fats into your diet. On average, it’s recommended that you take no more than three grams daily of DHA and other omega fats. Additionally, eating fresh salmon or any oily fish, like mackerel, is another good way for you to benefit from omega fats. This list of health benefits outweighs the side effects when the proper dosage of salmon oil is taken daily. The list of health benefits that omega fats that include DHA have been proven to lessen the following conditions.
- Improves heart health and fights inflammation
- Alleviates anxiety and similar problems
- Promotes healthy hair, skin, and vision
- Lessens rheumatoid arthritis pain
- Improves brain health in children and older adults
- Salmon oil side effects may include:
- Excessive blood thinning
- Digestive problems
- Elevated blood sugar levels
- Rash or allergic reaction
- Other medication interactions
When shopping for salmon oil, read the label carefully. Not all fish oil products will present impressive health benefits and may include other fish types that aren’t as beneficial as salmon. Also, if a product has a strong odor or has been stored in warm temperatures for some time, it’s best to discard it immediately.