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How Marine Fish Oil Supplements Support Mental & Overall Health

We need, ultimately, to be able to view mental health

with the same clear-headedness we show

when talking about physical health.

Matt Haig

While physical health may command the most attention from the media, flooding inboxes and capturing magazine headlines with information on how to lose weight, brain health is equally deserving of our attention. After all, without our mental acuity, very little is possible. It’s therefore essential that we begin looking for more ways to boost our mental health, giving it equal respect and effort as we do our physical wellbeing.

Supporting mental health doesn’t just mean practicing self-care and doing things that improve your mood. It also means nourishing the brain in the same ways you would your body. We tend to put so much emphasis on how what we eat will affect our physical appearance and fuel our body, that we wind up overlooking how our diets can influence one of the most important organs of all: the brain.

Frustratingly, the modern American diet has many gaps, even for those who follow healthy eating principles, but that doesn’t mean you can’t address these gaps. While mental health is influenced by many complex factors, some of which are not always within our control to change, it is possible to supply your brain with the type of fuel it needs most. Specifically, incorporating a supplement into your daily routine could help to nourish your brain with powerful essential nutrients. Discover the benefits of the leading supplement for brain health, marine fish oil, here.  

What is Fish Oil?


Fish oil pills in wooden spoon on table

Fish oil is a natural substance derived from certain types of marine life. It’s rich in two essential polyunsaturated fatty acids which are necessary for normal growth and development: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These nutrients cannot be produced by the body and can therefore be obtained only through diet. Because omega-3 fatty acids are difficult to take in through diet alone, taking a dietary supplement is the most effective way to address gaps.

Why Should We Be Taking Fish Oil Supplements?


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The omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA are extremely valuable for promoting healthy brain function. They can even support cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and, in fact, research suggests that low intake of the two nutrients could be associated with an increased risk for AD.  This could be because DHA plays an important role in nervous system function, which may influence AD and overall cognitive function. Studies have found that diets high in omega-3 fatty acids are strongly associated with a lower AD risk. [1]

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Benefits of Fish Oil

Fish oil supplementation plays a large role in brain health, as well as mental health. Fish oil can: 

  • Support cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer's disease
  • Alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
  • Promote better overall brain health
  • Slow rate of mental decline with age
  • Support mental health

Beyond potentially aiding in AD prevention, however, it’s suspected that fish oil can support brain function in other ways. The brain is nearly 60% fat, much of which is made up of omega-3 fatty acids. Certain research shows that people with some mental disorders, including major depression and schizophrenia, have lower levels of omega-3s in their blood. [2] Studies have shown that taking marine fish oil supplements regularly can improve symptoms of or even prevent certain psychotic disorders in at-risk individuals. [3]

Supplementing with fish oil could also alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. [4] Thus, while there may be a complex interplay of factors contributing to the risk and development of brain and mental health conditions that are beyond our control, we should take full advantage of the steps that are within our control, such as nourishing the brain and adopting healthy lifestyle habits overall.

Support Brain Health

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Fish oil doesn’t just help to lower your risk for AD and mental disorders, however. It can also support better brain health in all individuals. While brain function slows down as we age, certain nutrients have the power to slow the decline in mental function. Individuals who eat more fish, in particular, have been shown to experience a slower rate of mental decline through old age than their peers. Fish oil has also been associated with improved memory in healthy elderly populations. [5]

Clearly, getting enough omega-3 fatty acids is one of the best things you can do to support brain health. Yet, the American diet has evolved over the years and, while the current American diet tends to be high in saturated fats, it’s generally low in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplements are primary sources of EPA and DHA, which is why they’re so widely recommended as a powerful preventive health tool. [6] Yet, there are even more compelling reasons to take fish oil supplements. Outside of their ability to support mental health, they also have a number of other advantages on wellness overall.   

What Are Some Additional Benefits of Fish Oil?


Mature man stretching before jogging in urban area

The benefits of fish oil extend far beyond brain health alone, improving health outcomes in a number of key areas. Here are just a few of the ways taking fish oil supplements can support your physical wellness:

  • Improves cardiovascular health: Heart disease is the number-one cause of death worldwide. Individuals who take in sufficient fatty acids have lower heart disease rates. This is likely because fish oil can regulate cholesterol levels, lower triglycerides, lower blood pressure in individuals with elevated levels, reduce arterial plaque, and reduce fatal arrhythmia events. [7]
  • Supports flexibility of joints and cartilage: The Arthritis Foundation® recommends fish oil as a treatment for reducing inflammation and morning stiffness in joints, especially for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In fact, the foundation even suggests that fish oil may inhibit RA development. RA patients who took fish oil supplements regularly were able to reduce or eliminate their use of over-the-counter painkillers. [8]
  • Promotes a healthy immune system: Fish oil is used to support immune system health and is even incorporated into therapeutic protocols for many chronic conditions such as asthma, eczema, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Research shows fish oil can improve immunity by reducing inflammation, which contributes to a number of autoimmune disorders. [9]
  • Boosts metabolism: Supplementing with fish oil could improve body composition and support weight loss when used in combination with healthy eating and exercise. While not all studies have observed the same effects, in some cases, fish oil supplements helped to increase metabolism and reduce appetite. [10]
  • Increases bone health: Individuals who have higher concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood also have better bone mineral density. This is critically important in older individuals, as the risk of bone-related issues including osteoporosis increases with age. [11]
  • Supports healthy skin: The skin is the body’s largest organ, and it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, supplementing with fish oil can promote healthy skin, and it may even help to prevent or control conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis. [12]

These are just some of the most noteworthy benefits of taking fish oil supplements, but there are even more not listed here. Overall, the fatty acids found in fish oil provide tremendous value both in healthy individuals and those with many medical or mental disorders. If you suspect you could benefit from incorporating a fish oil supplement into your daily regimen, be sure to reach out to a Cenegenics physician for more information.

Fish Oil Supplementation – In Conclusion


While fish oil indeed holds tremendous promise for supporting a number of mental and physical benefits, it’s important to remember that not all supplements – or patients – are the same. As the industry leader in wellness optimization, Cenegenics takes a comprehensive approach to treatment and ensures each patient’s individual needs are prioritized.

Our supplements are also of higher quality than others available on the market and are manufactured in the U.S.A. We provide custom doses for all of our patients based on our clinically indicated findings gathered through comprehensive patient evaluations. This promotes the greatest possible outcome in terms of reaching both short-term wellness goals and long-term disease prevention.

To find out how fish oil supplements and our wellness optimization program as a whole can help you reclaim your glory days™ and achieve the healthiest version of yourself, contact your nearest Cenegenics location today.

Next Steps

FREE Consultation

Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

About the Contributor

Rudy Inaba 
Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise

Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’ Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 20 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.

Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

References

[1] Danielle Swanson, et al. “Omega-3 Fatty Acids EPA and DHA: Health Benefits Throughout Life.” Advances in Nutrition. Jan. 2012. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3262608/

[2] Robertson, Ruairi, PhD. “13 Benefits of Taking Fish Oil.” Healthline, 18 Dec. 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-benefits-of-fish-oil

[3] GP Amminger et al. “Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids for indicated prevention of psychotic disorders: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.” JAMA Psychiatry. Feb. 2010. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20124114

[4] Robertson, see above.

[5] Robertson, see above.

[6] Swanson, see above.

[7] Robertson, see above.

[8] “Fish Oil.” Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved from URL: https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/supplements-herbs/guide/fish-oil.php

[9] McGlashen, Andy and Fenton, Jenifer. “Fish Oil May Improve Immunity.” MSU Today. 01 Apr. 2013. Retrieved from URL: https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/fish-oil-may-improve-immunity/

[10] Robertson, see above.

[11] Robertson, see above.

[12] Robertson, see above.

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