Fish Oil for Skin Care
Although fish oil is most commonly taken to treat arthritis and prevent heart disease, you could also take the supplement to help treat certain inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Fish oil contains certain compounds that have anti-inflammatory effects in your body. Before you begin taking fish oil supplements, consult your doctor to discuss the proper dosage and potential health dangers.
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid---EPA and docosahexaenoic acid---DHA, according to MayoClinic.com. These essential fatty acids appear to reduce inflammation and suppress an overactive immune response. This anti-inflammatory action could make fish oil a potential remedy to help treat skin conditions, and fish oil's omega-3 fatty acids could also lower triglycerides and reduce your risks for coronary artery disease, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Fish oil supplements may help treat or prevent skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Fish oil could also help treat photosensitivity, which is an increased sensitivity to sunlight, says the University of Michigan Health System. More commonly, fish oil is recommended for preventing heart disease, as well as treating rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, hypertension and high triglyceride levels. Don't take fish oil supplements to prevent or treat any skin or medical condition before first talking with your physician.
In addition to its common uses and uses for skin conditions, fish oil is also recommended in some cases for treating a wide variety of mental-health disorders, allergies, certain types of cancer, migraines, epilepsy, gout, chronic fatigue syndrome, sickle-cell anemia, macular degeneration and other eye conditions, ulcerative colitis, and multiple sclerosis, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Other potential uses for fish oil include preventing strokes, supporting cancer treatments and pregnancy, and treating osteoporosis, lupus, kidney stones and liver disease. Additionally, you might take fish oil to help treat asthma, anxiety, cystic fibrosis, Raynaud's disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, preeclampsia, osteoarthritis, dysmenorrhea and endometriosis, notes the University of Michigan Health System. No widely-accepted scientific evidence supports the use of fish oil in preventing or treating any of these health conditions, however.
If you consume plenty of cold-water fatty fish several times each week, you likely won't need to take a fish oil supplement, says the University of Michigan Health System. But if you don't eat a lot of fish, you might benefit from supplementation. To help treat or prevent skin conditions, you might take 3 to 8 g of fish oil capsules each day, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The typical daily recommendation of omega-3 fatty acids is a minimum of 5 g, so you may need a higher dosage of fish oil if you aren't getting any omega-3s from your diet.
The most common side effects from taking fish oil supplements are acid reflux, nausea and a fishy taste in your mouth. If you're taking more than 3 g of fish oil each day, you could experience lowered blood pressure and decreased blood clotting. Fish oil can also increase your cholesterol and blood-glucose levels, cautions the University of Michigan Health System. Additionally, fish oil supplements can increase the blood-thinning effects of coumadin and aspirin, as well as increase the concentrations of vitamin A and D supplements, particularly if you're taking cod liver oil, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
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