Fish Oil

Many people throughout developed nations, especially North America, intake supplements. Supplements, drugs, and prescription medications get used a lot. Questions arise about the efficacy of supplements.

Do these help?

Can they be harmful?

What degrees of help? In what areas?

These important questions arise in the free choices of North Americans and others about the effectiveness of supplements.

One prominent case emerges with fish oil or omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Our bodies need omega-3 fatty acid for muscle activity, cell growth, and other things. Without this crucial portion of a diet, we do less well.

The Mayo Clinic states, “Omega-3 fatty acids are derived from food. They can’t be manufactured in the body. Fish oil contains two omega-3s called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Dietary sources of DHA and EPA are fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel and trout, and shellfish, such as mussels, oysters and crabs. Some nuts, seeds and vegetable oils contain another omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).”

The standard forms for the omega-3 supplements are capsule, liquid, and pill. For those with a risk of heart attacks and strokes, high triglycerides and blood pressure, they may want to take these based on some evidence to help reduce the risks to health.

Mayo Clinic explained, “Heart disease. Research shows that eating dietary sources of fish oil — such as tuna or salmon — twice a week is associated with a reduced risk of developing heart disease. Taking fish oil supplements for at least six months has been shown to reduce the risk of heart-related events (such as heart attack) and death in people who are at high risk of heart disease. Research also suggests that the risk of congestive heart failure is lower in older adults who have higher levels of EPA fatty acids.”

The article continued to talk about many studies speaking to the “modest reductions in blood pressure” for the individuals who take the fish oil supplement. Some greater effects for those suffering from moderate to severe hypertension compared to those with only mild hypertension.

“High triglycerides and cholesterol. There’s strong evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can significantly reduce blood triglyceride levels. There also appears to be a slight improvement in high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol, although an increase in levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol also was observed,” the report explained.

It comes with some similar benefits for rheumatoid arthritis. The fish oil supplements help to reduce pain, relieve the stiff of the morning and may reduce the need for some anti-inflammatory medications. The Mayo Clinic gives the green light to the fish oil supplementation market, apparently, with the benefit for those oils coming better from broiled or baked fish and not fried fish, but the supplementation is good as well.

The article concluded, “Fish oil supplements might be helpful if you have cardiovascular disease or an autoimmune disorder. Fish oil also appears to contain almost no mercury, which can be a cause for concern in certain types of fish. While generally safe, too much fish oil can increase your risk of bleeding and might suppress your immune response. Take fish oil supplements under a doctor’s supervision.”

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