Fish Oil: The Miracle Immune System Booster

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grilled salmon

Grilled Salmon

We are often cautioned about fatty foods and all the many different oils that are harmful to our bodies when consumed in excess, or at all. There are, however, a small group of oils that are actually good for us and are actually helpful to our bodies and our general health.

Fish oil is one of the oils that we have heard a lot about and how it has may benefits. Fish oil even comes in bottled supplements but some argue that the supplements may not be as effective as actually eating the fish and some plants.

Researchers from Michigan State University and East Carolina University found that feeding fish oil high in the omega-3 fatty acid compound DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) seemed to boost activity of a white blood cell called a B cell, a vital part of the body’s immune response. And because of the particular way the DHA-rich fish oil worked in the mice, the researchers noted the finding could have special applications for people with compromised immune systems.

The findings, which are published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, included comparing two groups of mice — one that was fed a control diet, and one that was fed a diet that included DHA-rich fish oil. After five weeks, researchers took B cells from the mouse tissue and then examined them in the lab for B cell activation.

Omega-3 fatty acids are most commonly naturally found in fish, as well as some plant sources, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. They’ve been shown in research to improve cognitive health and decrease risk of heart disease and cancer. Omega-3-rich foods are also prevalent in the Mediterranean diet, which has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease and increased longevity.

But the effects of fish oil in supplement form on heart health has not been totally conclusive, with some studies suggesting it has protective benefits, while others show no effect at all.

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