Ever wondered why all of your Bengali friends seem to have naturally glowing skin and hair? This might be because of their seafood-rich diet and as a Bong myself, I can attest to the fact that fish oil benefits your skin, hair and health immensely. Consumed in the form of food and/or supplements, fish oil provides the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids - eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) - to your body. Popular variants like mackerel, herring, tuna, and salmon are considered the richest sources. These fish can be used to supplement your diet with the essential omega-3 fatty acids, which your body does not produce on its own. Fish oil can be highly beneficial for maintaining a healthy body, some of which are mentioned below.


Fish oil benefits

Fish oil benefits

At its core, fish oil is basically fat that has been extracted from the tissue, sometimes even the liver, of fish. Fish is a dietary staple, with the WHO (World Health Organisation) recommending 1-2 potions of it on a weekly basis. This can also be replaced with fish oil capsules that are available in both prescription and over-the-counter varieties. It is recommended to always consult an expert while deciding on the proper dosage of fish oil capsules, as it can differ from person to person. Proper consumption of fish oil can offer you the benefits seen above; let’s take a look at them in detail…


1. Helps reduce inflammation

Helps reduce inflammation

Inflammation in the body is directly connected to many skin, hair and health issues. The anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil can help inhibit inflammatory molecules called the cytokines, which further help maintain good health. It can also help with inflammation in the digestive system, which helps maintain good gut health and keeps many gut-related issues at bay. And you know what they say - a happy gut is key to good skin!


2. Helps delay skin ageing

Helps delay skin ageing

Your skin’s health declines as you age - losing collagen and deteriorating lipid barriers can give rise to early signs of ageing like wrinkles and fine lines. This can be countered by the effect fish oil has on the phospholipid bilayer which helps retain moisture in your skin for a more moisturised and soft texture. Also, hydrated lipids can keep your skin looking physically plump, leaving no room for any ageing signs to show up. That is why, supplementing your diet with fish oil can help inhibit signs of ageing and help maintain that lovely, youthful glow.


3. Helps alleviate psoriasis

Helps alleviate psoriasis

The omega-3 fatty acid content present in fish oil is known to boost hydration levels in your skin - alleviating the severely dry skin condition called psoriasis. This is because they are known to contribute to improving the barrier function of the skin, locking in moisture and helping deal with red, itchy and irritated skin. Also, the application of fish oil topically to areas affected by psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis, has shown results like soothing and calming of inflamed skin from the surface.


4. Helps boost hair growth

Helps boost hair growth

It is noteworthy to mention that fish oil is a form of healthy fat that can help nourish and condition dry and flaky scalps from within. This property helps fight daily hair loss and boosts hair growth. Fish oil can help boost blood flow to the head, opening up the hair follicles and delivering nutrients to them directly. This action can help optimise your hair growth cycle and improve hair growth rate over time.


5. Helps avoid sun damage

Helps avoid sun damage

A major advantage of consuming fish oil is that it can help protect against the harmful effects UVA and UVB sun rays have on your skin. This is because the unique combination of the DHA and EPA can help reduce your skin’s sensitivity to sun exposure. Fish oil has also been associated with reducing photo-damage to the skin and guarding it against sunburn, tanning and excessive dryness caused by prolonged exposure to the sun.


6. Helps reduce acne

Helps reduce acne

As mentioned above, fish oil consists of strong anti-inflammatory properties which can significantly change the state of your acne-prone skin. The soothing effect omega-3 fatty acids can have on your system can help deal with excessive sebum production on your skin, keeping pore clogging at bay. They can also improve your skin's defense system against acne-causing bacteria, and help balance acne-flaring hormones like testosterone and androgen in your body.


7. Helps support heart health

Helps support heart health

There are two major ways fish oil can help support heart health in your system. It has been associated with boosting the levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol in your system, and can help lower artery-hardening triglycerides in your body. Adding a regular dose of fish oil in your diet can thus help lower risk factors related to the matters of the heart, quite literally!


8. Helps in weight loss

Helps in weight loss

While this may not be true for everyone, fish oil has been linked with aiding weight loss in some people. This is only true if you intend to replace 'bad' fats in your diet (fried, packaged or sugary baked foods) with the 'good' fat which is found in various fish preparations. However, this benefit doesn't always show up on everyone; but has shown a loss of liver and abdominal fat in many.


9. Helps lower blood pressure

Helps lower blood pressure

Possibly one of the most coveted health benefits of fish oil is its capacity to help lower blood pressure levels in your body. Studies have shown that as little as 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids everyday can help decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. It can also help people who struggle with hypertension, which is made possible because of fish oil's tendency to lower levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in your body.


FAQs about fish oil benefits

FAQs about fish oil benefits

1) Are there any side-effects to consuming fish oil?

A. While fish oil is considered a dietary staple and has multiple benefits, over and improper consumption can overwhelm your body and lead to issues like high blood sugar, belching, bad breath, heartburn, nausea, loose stools, and rashes. Stick to the recommended dosage in order to avoid such side-effects from adversely affecting your health.

2) Is it better to take fish oil supplements before sleep or in the morning?

A. While there is no such rule as to when fish oil supplements should be taken, it is often recommended to take with meals to aid better absorption. This means that you can take it any time of the day, granted that you have eaten a sizable meal beforehand.

3) Does fish oil make your skin oily?

A. It is a misconception that consuming fish oil can make your skin oily. On the contrary, omega-3 fatty acids are known to regulate sebum production in your skin, which makes it safe to use fish oil for both dry and oily skin types. But make sure the oil hasn’t gone rancid, as that can give you both digestive issues and make your acne flare-up.

4) How long can it take for fish oil to show any results on hair growth?

A. Since fish oil is a dietary supplement, the effects it can have on hair growth can be different for different people. It is often recommended to keep up fish oil consumption in the recommended dosage for up to 3 months to notice any change in your mane. Your hair grows about 1 cm each month, so make sure you wait patiently and do not overdo the supplements in order to see quicker results.

5) How long can it take for fish oil to show any results on my skin?

A. Similar to the hair results we saw above, fish oil can take anywhere between 6 weeks to 6 months to start showing any results on your skin. This is because people's bodies absorb the oil at varying rates and the severity of skin issues vary greatly from one person to another.