The fish has very sharp and tough bones, making it problematic to eat for some. Ilish is an oily fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Recent experiments have shown its beneficial effects in decreasing cholesterol level in rats and insulin level. Like other fish, it is rich in essential fatty acids(omega 3 fatty acids) and helps develop a healthy brain and nervous system. Some research has shown that Hilsa fish could help lower cholesterol level. A pair of Hilsa is bought on auspicious days in Bengali families.