7 Benefits of Fish Oil For Dry Eyes | Rethinking Dry Eye Treatment
By now, everyone has heard about how important fish oil is for your overall health. Why is this? Well, fish oil has some amazing benefits (which we’ll uncover today), and it’s so easy to make sure that you’re taking in the right amount for you.
So, let’s begin with the most basic question...
What is Fish Oil?
As suggested and implied by its name, the key source of fish oil is fish. You can obtain good quantities of it either by eating fatty fish directly or consuming supplements sustainably sourced from fish.
There are numerous types of fish, but only a few of them are considered a rich source of fish oil for you to consume. The oil is extracted from the fish because certain fish have rich quantities of omega-3 fatty acids. Examples of some of the best fish for omega-3s include wild caught salmon, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines. It’s best to consume them as your meal, but if you need to take supplements to hit your omega-3 goal, that’s perfectly acceptable as well.
Fish oil contains two basic omega-3 fatty acids, which are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Make sure that you check the labeling for both EPA and DHA. You should do the same for Cod liver oil, ensuring that it meets your requirements.
Fish oil is helpful in treating several health conditions, and we’ll highlight a few specific benefits below. You can use this oil for conditions related to the heart and blood systems. Moreover, many people have successfully treated such ailments as high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and high triglycerides by upping their intake of omega-3s. Using fish oil may even help prevent heart diseases or stoke.
Other than treating several heart-related issues, fish oil is also helpful for numerous kidney problems. These conditions include kidney disease, kidney failure, and other complications of the kidneys. These situations may arise because of cirrhosis, diabetes, Berger’s disease, or a heart transplant.
Fish (especially the fatty ones noted above) is also reputed as ‘brain food’. That’s because of its effectiveness in potentially curing depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychosis, ADHD, migraine headache and more.
In addition to the benefits described above, fish oil may help you fight dry eyes, cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Sometimes, diabetes causes eye-related problems, and omega-3 fatty acids can be an effective addition to your treatment regimen.
If you are someone looking lose weight, then you may also benefit from fish oil. That’s because this oil helps improve exercise performance, may decrease muscle soreness, and increase muscle strength.
We have shed sufficient light on understanding the basics of fish oil and its benefits in numerous ailments. In this section, we will mention at least 7 benefits which fish oil offers for dry eyes and your body:
1. Helps Eye Conditions, Including Dry Eyes
It remains uncertain if DHA and other omega-3 fats provide any help against age-related macular degeneration. However, these fats do help improve dry eyes and diabetic eye disease.
Moreover, there have been two recent studies suggesting that DHA may provide effective help in decreasing discomfort from contact lenses. A 12-week study was recently performed with contact lens wearers. At the end of that study, it was concluded that 600 mg of DHA and 900 mg of EPA daily did actually help in the reduction of eye discomfort by 42%! This effect was similar to the improvements noticed when patients were on steroid eye drops.
In addition to these benefits, a daily dose of 500 mg of DHA and 1000 mg of EPA for three consecutive months brought on a decrease in eye pressure by 8%. You should know that elevated eye pressure is a risk factor for glaucoma, which is a disease which slowly takes away your vision.
To put it briefly, the use of DHA may offer improvement for certain eye conditions, including dry eyes, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. It also helps reduce contact lens discomfort, which is so important for those of you with dry, irritated eyes.
2. Supports Muscle Recovery
If you follow a rigorous exercise routine, then it is likely to trigger muscle inflammation and soreness for you. DHA-either on its own or in combination with EPA-can provide efficient help in reducing muscle soreness after exercise. That’s because it has an impactful anti-inflammatory effect.
27 women who took 3000 mg of DHA daily for seven days showed a 23% reduction in muscle soreness. These results were in sharp contrast to the ones shown by those placed in the placebo group.
Similarly, 24 men received 260 mg of DHA supplements and 600 mg of EPA supplements on a daily basis. The study was conducted for 8 weeks. At the end of this study, there was no decrease in their range of motion after elbow-stretching exercises. On the other hand, men placed in the placebo group had an 18% decrease.
Even though these studies looked at only a few people, it does illustrate that DHA plays a role in reducing muscle soreness and limitations in motion range after exercise. That happens because of the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Fights Inflammation
Omega-3 fats such as DHA contain high anti-inflammatory effects. An increase in DHA intake helps to bring balance to the excess of inflammatory omega-6 fats that you may often consume. These fats are typically found in abundance in Western diets rich in soybean and corn oil. When you eat fried foods, you’re eating unhealthy omega-6 fats.
DHA has effective anti-inflammatory property which may lower the risk of chronic diseases that come with old age. In addition, it may save you from heart and gum diseases and improve autoimmune conditions. Using DHA can also help relieve joint pain.
A study was conducted for 10 weeks in which 38 people with rheumatoid arthritis took part. A daily intake of 2100 mg of DHA reduced the number of swollen joints by 28%! Those in the placebo group did not experience this.
Despite previous successful studies, this one was the first to indicate that DHA alone could help reduce inflammation. In short, an increase in DHA intake may reduce inflammation. It also balances excess inflammatory omega-6 fats typical in Western diets. Because of these properties, DHA may help counteract heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
4. Risk Of Early Pre-term Births Reduced
This attribute of fish oil is particularly beneficial for women who are pregnant. Any baby delivered before 34 weeks is vulnerable to several health diseases, and omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent pre-term birth.
There have been two large studies on the effects of fish oil supplements on pregnant women. These studies revealed that women who consumed 600-800 mg DHA had their pre-term birth risk reduced. These results stood in sharp contrast to those women placed in the placebo group.
Hence, it is imperative that you get sufficient amounts of DHA when you are pregnant. You can consume these fatty acids either through diet or supplements, and most obstetricians and midwives will recommend taking omega-3 supplements while pregnant.
Pregnant women must make sure that they are eating 8 ounces of low-mercury, omega-3 rich fish on a weekly basis. If you are taking vitamins, make sure the vitamins contain DHA.
5. Improvement in ADHD
ADHD normally begins in childhood but may well persist into adulthood. Omega-3 plays an important role in your brain health and helps increase blood flow during mental activities. Researchers indicate that children and adults with ADHD have comparatively lower levels of DHA.
Seven out of nine studies showed that the effects of DHA supplements in children with ADHD did exhibit improvement. For example, these kids’ attention and behavior showed positive changes.
As adults and children with ADHD have lower blood levels of DHA, omega-3s may help to bring balance to the blood levels. Consequently, ADHD symptoms in both children and adults improve.
6. Reduces Heart Disease Risk
Omega-3 fats are highly valuable for your heart health. The majority of studies conducted tend to examine DHA and EPA in combination rather than individually. Some studies seem to suggest that DHA is more effective than EPA for the improvement in several heart-related risks, but both are valuable.
A research study on 154 obese adults who were given 2700 mg of DHA for 10 weeks showed that their exposure to heart-disease had reduced by 5.6%. The same dose of EPA helped increase the omega-3 index of the same participants only 3.3%. DHA also reduced blood triglycerides more than EPA. Omega-3 fatty acids also help increase the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol in your body.
7. Decreases Blood Pressure
DHA lends support for blood flow and also improves endothelial function. This contributes to the ability of your blood vessels to dilate.
A review of 20 studies revealed that DHA and EPA do help lower blood pressure. However, the rates at which they do so may differ. DHA reduced diastolic blood pressure at an average of 3.1 mmHg. EPA, on the other hand, reduced systolic blood pressure at an average of 3.8 mmHg.
These are just a few of the many benefits you will notice when taking a fish oil supplement! Even if you’re eating fatty fish regularly, it’s still a great idea to have your omega-3 blood levels tested to see where you stand. You might benefit from adding omega-3 supplementation into your routine!
Do you take fish oil supplements? What benefits have you noticed? Let us know in the comments below!