Salmon oil supplements contain a concentrated form of the oil from salmon. They are rich in healthy fats that have numerous health benefits.
Fish oils, such as salmon oil, may benefit the skin, hair, brain, and general health, largely due to their high content of omega-3 fatty acids.
What are the benefits of salmon oil?
Salmon oil and salmon oil supplements may provide several important health benefits.
Rich in omega-3s
The potential health benefits of salmon oil mainly come from its rich supply of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Scientists consider these to be healthy fats and believe they may benefit overall health.
These types of fats come from the diet, largely from seafood.
Taking salmon oil supplements may be a helpful way for those who do not eat much seafood to get these healthy fats. Consuming omega-3 fatty acids may have a number of benefits.
Excessive inflammation is a marker of a number of chronic diseases and may increase the risk of many diseases over time.
Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation in the body.
A study posted to Biochemical Society Transactions notes that there are a few different actions of omega-3 fatty acids in the body. They appear to block markers of inflammation and disrupt signaling centers in the cells. These combined effects may help reduce inflammation in the body.
In human trials, omega-3 fatty acids taken orally helped reduce markers of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis.
May improve heart health
Regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids may help improve markers of overall heart health, though research has found conflicting evidence on this.
It may also help some people manage blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The American Heart Association recommends eating a heart-healthy diet that includes two servings of fish per week, such as salmon. Fish is a rich source of protein that includes omega-3s. It is low in saturated fats compared with red meats.
The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements notes that regular omega-3 fatty acid intake lowers blood triglyceride levels, and that the more a person consumes, the lower their blood triglycerides. Consuming omega-3 fatty acids may also help lower blood pressure.
Regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids may also improve overall heart health by reducing the risk of major events of heart disease, such as stroke or heart attack.
Omega-3 fatty acids themselves may also reduce the risk of heart disease in certain situations.
The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements notes that consuming sources of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a reduced risk of death and other risks of cardiovascular disease. The evidence is strongest for fish and fish oil supplements.
Some animal studies have also foundTrusted Source that omega-3 fatty acids help ensure a normal heart rate and sufficient blood flow to the heart.
That said, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says that taking omega-3 supplements does not reduce the risk of heart disease.
Instead, it says that people who regularly consume foods, rather than supplements, that contain omega-3s are less likely to die of heart disease.
May promote healthy skin
Fish oils and their omega-3s may also promote healthy skin.
A review posted to Marine DrugsTrusted Source found that fish oil and related fatty acids helped improve the skin in a few ways, including:
- reducing hyperpigmentation
2.improving the function of the skin barrier
- reducing dry skin and itching from dermatitis
4.speeding up wound healing
5.preventing skin cancer development
Applying fish oil to the skin and taking fish oil supplements orally may both help provide these benefits.
May promote healthy eyes
Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those in salmon oil, may also promote healthy eyes and vision.
A review posted to AntioxidantsTrusted Source noted that not having enough omega-3 fatty acids in the diet may contribute to retina degeneration. Maintaining a steady supply of omega-3s in the diet may help prevent this.
A study posted to Translational Vision Science & TechnologyTrusted Source found that omega-3 supplements lowered intraocular pressure, which is a risk factor for glaucoma. The findings, from the first known human study, are consistent with previous animal studies.
May promote brain health
Many people take salmon oil or omega-3 supplements to support brain health.
The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements notes that omega-3 fatty acids do appear to be important in brain development and function.
Regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids may also play a role in healthy brain aging.
A review posted to Frontiers in Aging NeuroscienceTrusted Source notes that the aging brain is more prone to inflammation and lower levels of these important fatty acids. Higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA, show positive effects in otherwise healthy people or those with only mild cognitive impairment.
While rich sources of omega-3s may help with the general upkeep and function of the brain, the effects may take time, and may go away if the person stops taking the supplements.
A review posted to the Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s DiseaseTrusted Source notes that omega-3 supplements may help prevent cognitive decline better when people use them for over 3 years.
It may be best to begin taking supplements early because they may be most effective for preventing disease when the brain is still healthy.
That said, research has found conflicting results about the effects of taking omega-3 fatty acids on major disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists need to do more high quality human trials on these topics.