Do you eat fish at least twice a week? What about fish oil? Whether you want to maintain your health, fight inflammation, or maximize your gains, fish oil should be on your list. Loaded with heart-healthy fats, this supplement can boost your performance and keep your brain sharp until late in life. It's also one of your best allies against heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, atherosclerosis, and cancer. In the long run, it may improve your muscle-to-fat ratio and bring you closer to your weight loss goals. Need more proof? Here are some of the most overlooked health benefits of fish oil: Reduces Cortisol Levels
Cortisol, the stress hormone, helps regulate blood sugar and inflammatory reactions in your body. When its levels increase, it can affect your workout performance, weight loss, and muscle gains. Elevated cortisol production has been linked to muscle loss, weakened immune function, reduced bone density, cardiovascular disease, and abdominal obesity. Evidence shows that fish oil boasts cortisol-lowering properties. Even though its effect is temporary, it helps keep cortisol levels within normal limits. In a clinical trial, the rise in cortisol levels was blunted in stressed subjects who took 7.2 grams of fish oil per day for three weeks. This supplement may also ease anxiety and improve the symptoms associated with mental disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and age-related memory loss. If you're training hard or preparing for a competition, take fish oil at bedtime to reduce the morning cortisol spike. Improves Body Composition
Fish oil can help improve body imposition in several ways. First of all, it lowers cortisol levels, which makes it easier to build lean mass and torch fat. Secondly, it reduces body fat when used along with an exercise program. A six-week study has found that volunteers taking fish oil supplements reported an increase in muscle mass as well as a significant reduction in fat mass compared to the placebo group. Researchers believe that DHA and EPA, the essential fats in fish oil, suppress lipogenic gene expression, which helps reduce lipid synthesis. Increases Immunity
This supplement may boost immunity and keep diseases at bay. Studies indicate that fish oil improves B cell activity, which in turn, enhances your body's natural defense mechanisms. It appears to be particularly helpful for immunocompromised individuals as well as for those with autoimmune disorders. Its immune-boosting properties are due to the high content of DHA, an essential fat that lowers inflammation and increases the number of B-cells in the body. Additionally, it can reduce the joint pain and swelling caused by autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and arthritis. Improves Joint Health and Mobility
DHA and EPA display anti-inflammatory properties. These fats are easily absorbed into the cartilage cell membranes, which helps decrease inflammatory cytokines and increases anti-inflammatory markers, such as TGF beta and IL-10. Scientists suggest that fish oil may slow the progress of osteoarthritis by inhibiting the proteins that contribute to this disease. Fish oil supplementation has been linked to a lower risk of bone marrow lesions, joint pain and stiffness, and age-related bone disorders. These factors combined can improve joint mobility and musculoskeletal health.