Benefits of Oily Fish

Interest in the health benefits of oily fish began when scientists observed that Eskimos, who mainly eat oily fish, had fewer than typical cardiovascular disease and strokes.

Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are stated to assist against cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, age-related vision loss and dementia.

What Are the Benefits of Oily Fish for Human Health?

It’s a great source of vitamin D, protein, some B vitamins and selenium. It’s also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that benefits our health.

We’ve coordinated with the British Dietetic Association (BDA) to analyze what the evidence says about the supposed health advantages of oily fish.

Heart disease

The UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition evaluated the evidence on the health benefits of fish in 2004. It said a “large body of proof” suggests that fish consumption, especially oily fish, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Research studies have discovered eating oily fish can lower blood pressure and reduce fat accumulation in the arteries. The proof is strong enough to warrant a federal government recommendation that we eat at least two parts of fish a week, among which need to be oily.

Nevertheless, there are optimal suggested amounts for oily fish, crab and some types of white fish. There is added suggestions for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and children and infants.

popular oily fish list

Most popular oily fishes: Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Eel, Trout, Pilchards, Whitebait, Mackerel, Herring, Kipper

Prostate cancer

The proof for oily fish’s result on prostate cancer is inconclusive. Some minimal research suggests that eating fish may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. However, this is not backed up by other studies, so we can’t ensure the effect.


A 2012 review checked out whether consuming more omega-3, a type of healthy fat found in oily fish, could reduce the risk of dementia. The evaluation took a look at research studies of healthy 60-year-olds who took omega-3 capsule supplements for six months.

The evaluation concluded that there is no preventative effect of decline in brain function and dementia when healthy older people take omega-3. The evaluation suggested that longer-term research studies would provide scientists a much better opportunity for determining the possible advantages of omega-3 in avoiding dementia.


A well-conducted evaluation in 2010 found there was some proof that eating oily fish two or more times a week might reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration – a typical cause of loss of sight in older individuals. Nevertheless, the customers said the results need to be interpreted cautiously, due to the fact that of weak points in the research.

An additional review carried out in 2015 took a look at whether fish oil supplements could reduce the progression of macular degeneration in people who currently had the condition, mentioned by The results were disappointing, as there was no evidence of any benefit.

Rheumatoid arthritis

A 2013 research study looked at the eating habits of around 32,000 middle-aged and older women to see if oily fish usage had any influence on them establishing rheumatoid arthritis. They did discover that women who ate one or more servings of oily fish were 29% less most likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than women who never ever, or extremely hardly ever, consumed oily fish.

Nevertheless, this type of study can never ever prove cause and impact, as other aspects might have been involved.


In 2013, the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) reviewed the evidence about whether medication based on omega-3 fatty acids might improve the symptoms of schizophrenia. The results were blended. Four out of the eight studies revealed some modest benefit when compared with placebo (a dummy treatment). The other four showed no benefit.

Based on these results, it is not suggested to use omega-3 fatty acid-type drugs as an option to existing treatments.

The dietitian’s verdict on oily fish

Alison Hornby, a dietitian and BDA representative, states if there’s one food that’s good for your heart, it’s oily fish.

She says: “The advantages of eating at least two parts of fish a week, consisting of one of oily fish, include keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level and improving blood lipids, both which reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease: the most significant killer in the UK.

“Remember that you can get your omega-3 from a variety of oily fish. Tinned sardines and mackerel, for instance, are an easy and cheap way to stock up the store cabinet. Consumed on toast with a side salad, this makes a quick, simple and healthy meal.”


Updated: June 17, 2017 — 11:13 pm

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

1 Comment on Benefits of Oily Fish

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  1. I have actually consumed salmon, trout, tuna, snapper, mackerel, sardines etc after working out. Focus on your general diet, not the timing of a post workout meal. Fatty fish is always a great choice if low in Mercury.

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