SIGNIFICANCE OF INCLUDING FISH OIL IN DAILY DIET

Introduction:

Fish oil is the fat or oil extracted from the tissues of fish and is mostly derived from oily fishes such as herring, tuna, anchovies, and mackerel. At times it is also produced from the livers of other fish, for example, cod liver oil. Fish oil is rich in two important omega-3 fatty acids, namely eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Steadfast Fish oil is derived from fatty sardine fish and provides high quality omega-3 fatty acids, which improve the cardiovascular and cognitive functioning of the body, improve immunity, lower bad cholesterol, reduce inflammation and enhance overall health of the body. This Fish Oil contains EPA and DHA in the ratio of 3:2 considered best for utilisation by the human body. Sardines are tiny, oily fishes belonging to the Clupeidae family. They are considered to be the safest source to be used in fish oils as they have a low content of mercury and other heavy metals. Another advantage of selecting sardine is its shorter life cycle which allows less time for mercury accumulation. Sardines are also rich in all essential vitamins, minerals and fats and, is considered to be an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA) which have multiple health benefits. 

Ingredients and their uses:

1. Fish Oil - Studies show that fish oil may help in the following ways:

Good for the heart: Consumption of fish oil helps to improve the lipid profile by increasing the “good” fat HDL and lowering the total triglycerides. This further improves the blood flow and makes the heart healthy. 

Improves brain functioning: Balanced ratio of EPA and DHA improves cognitive functioning. These are found in the brain cell membranes, preserving the health of the cell membrane and supporting communication between the brain cells. This helps to improve the overall focus, concentration and mental health.

Strengthens bones: With ageing, bones become more prone to breakage because of lower bone density. A sufficient intake of omega- 3 plays a major role in different bone metabolisms, which improves bone density and further prevents chances of osteoporosis. 

Fights inflammation: A higher level of inflammation reduces the body’s immunity and increases the risk of infection and illness. Omega-3 from fish oil is a potent antioxidant which in turn reduces inflammation and boosts immunity.

Improves vision: DHA is an essential structural part of the retina and therefore, it becomes important to have it in a sufficient amount for a better vision. Inadequate DHA in the diet also increases the risk of macular degeneration that can permanently damage the eye or cause blindness in severe cases.

 Manages metabolic health: Adding a sufficient amount of omega-3 to the diet improves various metabolic syndromes like obesity, hypertension, insulin resistance and lipid profile. 

Enhances skin health: It works in two ways to improve skin health. First, DHA is a part of the cell membrane and consuming enough omega 3 can provide you with enough DHA for maintaining good health of skin cells. Secondly, EPA helps in managing oil production, acne and skin hydration. 

Contributes to better sleep: Lack of DHA is linked with lower levels of melatonin in the body, which is a hormone that induces natural sleep. Including a proper amount of omega 3 in the diet improves the duration and quality of sleep.

2. Gelatin (animal origin) - Gelatin is widely used in the production of soft gel capsules that are easily digestible, easy to swallow, and dissolve within a few minutes of entering the stomach. This feature ensures that the medicine or supplement does not pass unabsorbed through the digestive system. The stabilising and solubilising properties of soft gel capsules also increase the bioavailability of poorly absorbed or poorly soluble nutrients. Soft gelatin capsules are sealed hermetically which makes them tamper-evident. The sealed capsule also protects the active ingredients like fish oil and rancid oil from oxygen, which prevents them from getting rancid. Gelatin is usually derived from pork or beef, however, if an individual is allergic to these, or does not want to consume these, he/she can simply empty the contents of the capsule and mix it with water or juice for consumption. 

3. Sorbitol (INS 420) and Glycerin - Gelatin in itself cannot be used for making soft gel capsules due to its brittleness, therefore, an additional compound, called plasticiser, is required to give these capsules elasticity, and to modify their physical and chemical attributes. Plasticiser helps in the following ways:

  • Improves flexibility of the soft gel capsule
  • Enhances its resilience
  • Reduces its chances of cracking

Commonly used plasticiser compounds for soft gels are glycerin and sorbitol. Preservative (INS 216) - INS 216, commonly known as Propylparaben, occurs naturally in many plants and some insects and is also manufactured synthetically to be used in cosmetic products, pharmaceuticals, and foods items. It is commonly used as an anti-fungal preservation agent.

4. Preservative (INS 216): INS 216, commonly known as Propylparaben, occurs naturally in many plants and some insects, and is also manufactured synthetically to be used in cosmetic products, pharmaceuticals, and foods items. It is commonly used as an anti-fungal preservation agent.

5. Preservative (INS 218) - Methylparaben or INS 218 is classified as a type of paraben, a chemical compound generally used as a preservative to increase the shelf life of products. These are widely used in the food industry and cosmetics to control the growth of mould and other harmful bacteria. INS 218 is more against yeast and fungi as compared to bacteria.

6. Antioxidant (INS 320) - Commonly known as Butylated Hydroxyanisole or BHA, INS 320 is an artificial phenolic antioxidant that prevents rancidity in edible oils and foods containing fat. 

Who all can benefit from taking Fish Oil:

  • High intensity and prolonged exercises by athletes can lead to extra inflammation in their body putting them at a higher risk of infection and illness because of suppressed immunity. Adding a Fish Oil supplement can boost their immunity and reduce the chances of infection, thereby improving overall health.
  • The hectic schedule of working-class people often leads to skipping meals and lack of sleep, which can affect their immunity adversely, therefore, it is important to add omega-3 fatty acid to your diet for healthy functioning of the body.  
  • Omega-3 fatty acid may improve the body's composition, which in turn can reduce the waist to hip ratio. 
  • Ageing leads to muscular degeneration which can impair the vision, skin health and overall muscle mass of the body. Omega-3 fatty acid thus helps in improving the muscular degeneration and overall health of the elderly.

Directions to take Steadfast Fish Oil:

The best way is to have it is with meals as it improves the digestion and absorption of the capsules. Steadfast Fish Oil can be consumed 2-3 times in a day with any meal or depending on the body’s needs and individual dietary habits. 

Conclusion: 

The benefits of fish oil are derived from its omega-3 fatty acid content. However, our body does not produce many of its omega-3 fatty acids. Hence it becomes crucial to include fish oil supplements in our daily lifestyle for the numerous health benefits discussed above.

References:

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-993/fish-oil

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/294342777_Beneficial_effects_of_Fish_oil_to_Human_Health-_A_review

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/01.CIR.0000038493.65177.94

https://www.livestrong.com/article/269349-what-are-the-benefits-of-gelatin-capsules/

https://www.justgotochef.com/ingredients/bha

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