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Surprising Side Effects of Taking Fish Oil Supplements After 50

If you want to live a longer, healthier life, you may want to add this supplement to your routine.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Turning 50 is a major milestone and one that often coincides with major changes in your health and overall wellbeing. While eating a healthy diet, getting adequate exercise, and reducing stress are all great ways to improve your health and longevity after 50, there's yet another way to get healthier when you've hit the half-century mark: taking fish oil supplements.

According to a 2021 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, individuals with higher levels of omega-3s—the main nutrient in fish oil supplements—in their blood were found to have a life expectancy that's five years longer than those with lower levels of circulating omega-3s.

However, that's far from the only benefit you can enjoy from adding these supplements to your regular routine. Read on to discover the side effects of taking fish oil after 50, according to experts. And for more great additions to your supplement stash, check out The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.

Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, make sure you avoid these 100 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet.

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Your blood pressure may decrease.

Senior woman suffering from high blood pressure sitting at a table in her living room using a blood pressure monitor

If you've been trying to lower your blood pressure without success, adding a little fish oil to your regular routine may help.

"Fish oil can reduce blood pressure because of the omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that diastolic blood pressure and systolic blood pressure decreases for those who take omega-3 fatty acids," says Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD, author at Fit Healthy Momma, citing a 2014 study published in the American Journal of Hypertension.

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You may have better heart health.

Senior man suffering heart attack while jogging with wife.

Lowering your blood pressure isn't the only cardioprotective effect you can enjoy when you take fish oil supplements.

"Fish oil can also reduce triglycerides," says D'Angelo, citing research published in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta in 2012. "These fats are important sources of energy, but too much can hurt your heart health. Long chain omega-3 fatty acids are another big reason why triglycerides can be reduced." And for more incentive to add some fish oil to your routine, check out these Side Effects of Taking Fish Oil Every Day, According to Experts.

You may reduce your risk of cognitive disorders.

elderly Man suffering from headache migraine pain at home on sofa

If you want to keep your mind sharp as you age, taking some fish oil supplements might just be the easiest place to start.

"After the age of fifty, starting a fish oil supplement may help improve mood and energy and potentially prevent the risk of some cognitive disorders," says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements. "This is because roughly 60% of the brain is made of fat, and half that amount is omega-3 type fats. It has been found that fish oil can help prevent cognitive diseases like Alzheimer's and slow mental decline."

You may have greater muscle strength.

Fit serious Asian sportsman exercising with weights in gym

Want to stay fit and active as you age? Fish oil supplements might be the key to keeping your body healthy and strong.

"In one study, women over the age of 50 who took 2,000 milligrams of fish oil daily and did resistance exercise for 90 days improved their muscle strength as compared to women who exercised only," explains Elizabeth Ward, MS, RDN, co-author, The Menopause Diet Plan, A Natural Guide to Hormones, Health, and Happiness, citing a 2012 study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

You may notice improvements in your mood.

older mature happy couple at table eating drinking

While depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can happen to anyone at any age, adults over 50 may want to add some fish oil to their diet if they want to improve their mood.

"Fish oil has been shown to relieve symptoms of depression in just 21 days. This may be partially due to the anti-inflammatory effects of fish oil," says Rachel Dyckman, MS, RDN, CDN, owner and registered dietitian nutritionist at Rachel Dyckman Nutrition LLC, citing a 2015 study published in Psychiatry Research.

And for more, check out these 108 most popular sodas ranked by how toxic they are.

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more about Sarah
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