Revealed: How fish oil helps heart health – and the fight against depression

Fatty acid Omega-3 found in fish helps to reduce blood pressure and can aid the battle against depression, a study has found.

Omega-3 fish oil supplements.

Dr James Brown, a professor from Aston University, explored the correlation between marine oils and a range of health benefits, in particular heart health.

The scientific report revealed fish oil has a positive effect on five different areas of heart health, including blood pressure and chronic heart disease.

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The oil is beneficial in the fight against body fats, atherosclerosis, which is the plaque that builds up in the arteries, and irregular heart rhythms.

On top of the physical health benefits of fish oils on the heart and in fighting arthritis, Dr Brown’s research revealed how some individuals who suffer from anxiety, depression or premenstrual syndrome would benefit from the use of Omega-3 supplements.

A placebo study previously conducted on nearly 50 participants showed those who took fish oils containing Omega-3 had improved mood profiles, with increased vigour and energy and reduced anger, anxiety, and depression states.

Dr James Brown said: “Omega-3 fats, and the benefits associated with them, have been widely debated in both the media and by scientists for many years.

“The recent report draws from published literature, assessing the strength of any claims of benefits from Omega-3 consumption, and evidence suggests that the maintenance of a healthy heart can be supported by Omega-3 intake.

“As we grow older, worries about heart conditions can be concerning, and it is reassuring that substances as accessible as Omega-3 can help maintain a healthy heart, including helping to maintain a healthy blood pressure, reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and lowering the levels of some circulating blood fats.

“This research hasn’t just revealed benefits of Omega-3 intake on cardiovascular health, but also across a range of key health conditions, including mental health and cognitive development too, showing Omega-3 intake to be a good way of maintaining various elements of general health.”

Humans don’t naturally create Omega-3, so it is recommended we eat at least two portions of fish a week, including one of oily fish. Taking a cod liver oil supplement can also help get Omega-3 into a diet. Dr Zoe Williams, anNHS GP and TV health adviser, said: “We all require a different level of Omega-3 for our health to be optimal.”

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