physicians tell us they take fish oil capsules religiously every day.
Many recommend it to their patients, but usually only when the patient
asks about this supplement.
In homes and assisted care facilities many adults and caregivers
agonize over questions such as the value of giving a supplement such as
fish oil, to their parents or patients. Is it safe? How much should the
senior take and is it worth the extra expense?
Although fish oil promises benefits to people of almost all ages, it is even more recommended for seniors over sixty-five.
Although medical opinions on the advantages of fish oil, as with any
supplement, can vary, the majority of the medical profession appears to
be for the consumption of fish oil by seniors. It is believed that the
daily use of fish oil can help reduce the risk of heart disease and may
be of real benefit in the lowering of harmful cholesterol that builds up
that artery-clogging plaque.
The Massachusetts Medical School has opined that taking fish oil may
be beneficial in helping senior citizens to hold back the onset of
dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease. An international study indicates
that a recommended dosage seniors should take about 1,000 milligrams of
fish oil daily.
Studies have shown that, weighed against tests performed on seniors
who do not take fish oil supplements, seniors who do take fish oil
supplements on a daily basis score better on cognitive tests.
These results, published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia,
contribute to the growing body of evidence that encourages the use of
fish oil to slow aging and benefit the brain and cognitive function.
Further studies have shown as well that another benefit to being
expected from the consumption of fish oil supplement is an improvement
in verbal, visual and short term memory.
However, nothing comes without its share of caveats. In the case of
fish oil, while it may provide seniors with health benefits, too much
fish oil can also be dangerous to our seniors.
According to Medline Plus, over-consumption of fish oil may increase
the risk of bleeding and a weakening of the immune system. This could be
of particular importance for those who take a daily dosage of a blood
thinner such as Warfarin. Nosebleeds, heartburn, and nausea are other
possible side effects.
The takeaway here is that while fish oil is probably beneficial for
everyone, regular care must be taken into consideration as well. Most
supplements offer proper dosage on the label, But when in doubt about
dosage, it is wise to consult a physician.