Do you really need fish oil / Omega 3 – Summary of Scientific Research
Fish oil supplements otherwise known as omega three fatty acids?
Or is it just another fishy vitamin over hype? Let’s talk about the benefits and how much to take in today’s blog.
Now, our bodies do not make omega threes and we rely on them for proper brain, eye and heart function.
The American Heart Association recommends the consumption of oily fatty fish at least two times a week in order to obtain the sufficient amount of the two of the best types of omega threes called DHA and EPA you don’t need to know what they stand for.
This means oily fish like salmon, herring, sardines, trout, albacore tuna, which contain the richest tha and EPA sources now fish oil supplements are derived mainly from the same oily fish sources. But the only reason to even consider taking these supplements is if you cannot get it in your diet or you simply just don’t like eating fish. It’s always best to obtain your nutrients from your food.
Yes, for those of you who are vegetarians, you can consider flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and soy beans. You know that although they don’t provide DHA and EPA specifically, but a different type of omega three called a HLA. Our body can actually make some DHT and EPA from HLA, but just a small amount. So.. eating the fish is actually more ideal if you can.
So here are some of the research base benefits of omega threes. First of all, it can lower triglyceride levels. In fact, the American Heart Association just released a new advisory starting that omega three fatty acids can help Lower very high triglycerides by 20 to 30% and can be safely used. Unlike some prescription drugs that are used to decrease or lower your triglycerides that can interact with statins. If you have trouble with your LDL and your triglyceride levels. However, the doses required are higher than typical dosing.
Although not found to be harmful and studies either. After reviewing 17 randomized controlled trials, they concluded that taking 4000 milligrams of prescription omega three fatty acids daily were effective at reducing triglyceride levels. They note that they don’t recommend over the counter formulation since they’re not FDA regulated. They can also modestly increase HDL which is the good cholesterol and may slightly raise HDL the bad cholesterol.
However, this increase is clinically insignificant number two it can improve your blood pressures and alarm meta analysis study of 70 randomized trials, fish oil reduces systolic blood pressure by one and a half millimeters of mercury and diastolic blood pressure by about one millimeter of mercury. When taken at a minimum dose of 2000 milligrams a day. It’s not much but the effects seem to be greater and those with untreated high blood pressure reducing systolic by about four and a half points and then diastolic by three whole point it’s not something that I’d use to treat hypertension first line obviously, because the effects are really modest, but hey, every little bit helps sometimes especially if you have borderline high blood pressures, fish oil can reduce cardiovascular death.
250 milligrams per day of EPA and DHA may decrease the risk of death and those with cardiovascular disease meaning a history of heart disease, heart attack or stroke. No, it doesn’t prevent heart attack or stroke but just the risk of death from these events. This dose is generally sufficient and any increase in those higher than this really is without any extra benefit now it’s been suggested that it may reduce the risk of dementia and cognitive decline. But the studies here have shown mixed results meaning. Some studies have shown benefit while others have not the jury’s really still out on this one.
Now if you’re unable to get omega three through your diet and you still opt for these supplements, Here are a few tips to follow number one, opt for 1000 milligrams a day total for the average healthy person and make sure that it contains at least 250 milligrams of EPA and d h A specifically read the label number two, take it with heart healthy fatty foods like nuts and seeds, avocados for improved absorption. And lastly, always check with your doctor before you initiate anything, even a supplement especially if you take other medications which it may interact with.
Now I know what some of you are thinking. Well. the smaller fish have insignificant levels of mercury just avoid eating the bigger fish like shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tile fish. They all contain higher levels of mercury. Now you can eat any other type of fish in moderation, just like anything else in life.
Also, Just eat a well balanced diet and a variety of foods and you will already obtain all the nutrients through your foods. Anything extra that you take will be excluded and eliminated from your body.
It’s your choice whether you want to take fish oil or not. But the benefits are plenty and you may find yourself healthier.