These days, everyone seems to be taking fish oil for something. Doctors, chiropractors, and naturopaths are suggesting it for everything from diabetes to knee pain. But is it science or is it quackery?
The latest studies point to science. Research examined exactly what happens when DHA from fish oil enters the body. The DHA was taken in by large white blood cells called macrophages. These macrophages go to the site of infection or injury and “eat” whatever bacteria, virus, or dead cells they find to neutralize the situation. When DHA entered macrophages, they changed from macrophages that create inflammation to ones that fight inflammation. This means the the DHA in fish oil actually does reduce inflammation throughout the body, and now doctors definitively know why.
Inflammation isn’t all bad. It brings blood and fighting white blood cells to areas that are endangered by pathogens such as bacteria. But inflammation becomes chronic (long lasting) it is no longer healthy. Chronic inflammation is linked to cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
So now we have one more way to fight against inflammation and the diseases associated with it. To get that valuable DHA, you can either eat fish such as tuna and salmon, or you can get a supplement in the form of a pill or liquid. Either way, taking in a little extra fish oil will go a long way to protect your body.