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Fish Oil and Inflammation: Does Omega-3 Reduces Inflammation

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Is there a relationship between fish oil and inflammation?

Yes, there’s a clear relationship between fish oil and inflammation! Fish oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and has natural anti-inflammatory properties.

Why Is Inflammation A Health Concern?

Some people ask: “Why is inflammation bad?”

However, inflammation in the body is not usually a bad thing. It is essential.

Inflammation is the result of your immune system’s responses to harmful stimuli. The most common harmful stimuli are infection, irritation, injury, pathogens, toxic compounds, damaged cells, or irradiation.

Say you cut your finger while cooking.

Your body’s immune system sends macrophages, or white blood cells – disease fighters – to the area to repel the invading bacteria, viruses, or other pathogenic invaders and heal the wound.

When you see redness and swelling and feel heat and pain in the area, you know those little germ fighters are working to repel the invaders.

It is called acute inflammation, usually for a short period. When the threat is controlled, your immune system turns off the inflammatory response.

But, sometimes, your immune system does not turn off the inflammatory response, and the inflammation continues for a long time, well beyond the time it is needed, then it is chronic inflammation.

When inflammation is chronic, white blood cells remain in the tissues at the site of the inflammation for a long time. As a result, it releases waste chemicals that damage the very tissue they’re designed to save.

Chronic inflammation is the cause (or, at least, a cause) of many diseases. Moreover, many experts now believe that chronic inflammation is the cause of all chronic diseases.

What Diseases Are Caused By Inflammation?

Inflammation is suspected to be a cause of such horrible killers as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

In addition to these, chronic inflammation also plays a role in asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, Barrett’s esophagus, macular degeneration, and even obesity.

Does Fish Oil Reduce Inflammation?

Yes, there is a beneficial relationship between fish oil and inflammation. According to several studies, Fish oil is associated with lower levels of inflammation.

More specifically, it is the “long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids” in the fish oil, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) that cause the anti-inflammatory effect.

Omega 3s are called essential fatty acids because they are necessary for your health. They are critical components of the walls of each cell in your body, and they are essential for brain health.

In research, Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce arthritic pain.

Another study has stated that intake of Omega-3 fatty acids has shown significant improvement in inflammatory biomarkers and lipid profiles in diabetes and cardiovascular patients.

However, studies using Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Metabolites effectively treat psychiatric, neurodegenerative, or neurological conditions.

According to The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NUST) research, Omega-3 fatty acids supplements have shown a beneficial anti-inflammatory effect on patients.

Moreover, your body does not produce Omega 3s; you have to take them through food or supplement.

Omega 3s are found in some foods such as seafood, nuts and seed, and plant-based oils.

However, the best source of Omega 3s is fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and Hoki.

For the anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3s, you can either eat fish regularly or take a high-quality, pure fish oil supplement.

Not All Essential Fatty Acids Fight Inflammation

Not all essential fatty acids fight inflammation. Some of them cause inflammation!

Omega 3 fatty acids, found in fish oil supplements, are a natural anti-inflammatory.

However, other essential fatty acids, Omega 6s, cause inflammation.

Omega 6s are found mainly in food made of, or cooked in, vegetable oils such as corn oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil, and soybean oil.

In other words, you will find Omega 6s in large amounts in Ultra-processed food.

Over history, the human diet consisted of about two times as many Omega 6s as Omega 3s, which is a balanced Omega 6s to Omega 3s ratio.

However, the modern Western diet is seriously out of whack! It consists of a ratio of Omega 6s to Omega 3s of about 20:1!

We’re causing more inflammation with the Omega 6s than reducing the Omega 3s! That increases our risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other inflammation-related diseases.

Therefore, if you’re serious about fighting inflammation and increasing your consumption of Omega 3s, you should reduce the Omega 6s that you take in through foods, mainly all types of processed foods.

The proper ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is essential for your good health.

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DISCLAIMER: This article is for educational purposes only, always check with your medical doctor before stopping any prescription medications or when implementing any dietary and lifestyle changes.

Healthlyious has strict sourcing guidelines, believes in trustworthy and reliable sources, and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, medical journal publications, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Inflammatory Processes: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257651/
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16531187/
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids Effects on Inflammatory Biomarkers and Lipid Profiles among Diabetic and Cardiovascular Disease Patients: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-54535-x
  • Anti-Inflammatory Role of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Metabolites: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00122/full
  • Understanding how omega-3 dampens inflammatory reactions: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170823093831.htm


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