Why Fish Oil Supplements May Not Be All That Good for Lowering Cholesterol

by Marie on 20/11/2015

Fish Oil Supplements pros and cons

Fish oil supplements have become quite popular over the past decade as they contain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is exceptionally beneficial for people suffering from heart disease. They contain DHA and EPA which are known to prevent high blood pressure, high triglycerides levels, plaque, heart attack, and sudden heart failure.

You can get your daily recommended serving of Omega-3 fatty acids from two servings of fish per week.

But if you are not a fan of fish, fish oil supplement is great for you. These supplements are directly extracted from fishes, such as salmon and mackerels. Doctors recommend a dose of 3 grams per day to get the required amount of fatty acids your body needs.

Interestingly, the body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids on its own and depends on your balanced diet for it. Thus, including foods which are high in omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is important. Foods containing omega-3 are different types of fish, flaxseeds, walnuts and soybeans. While fish oil is extremely beneficial for heart related illnesses, it does not effectively lower your cholesterol. Research shows fish oil lowers triglycerides, which means your blood becomes thinner.

Since triglycerides make up the natural fats and oils in your body, a higher level could mean there is a greater risk of heart disease. This is why fish oil supplements are so beneficial for preventing heart related illnesses. However, this also means cholesterol and triglycerides go hand in hand. Research cannot conclude how much fish oil should be taken so it doesn’t cause triglycerides levels to decline to a point where the blood gets thinner. On the other hand, if triglycerides levels are high, the supplement will not have much of an impact on your blood cholesterol level, which is not the desired result at all.

Cholesterol levels can be lowered with many other strategies which do not affect the level of triglycerides. Choosing healthier fats, eliminating trans fat, increasing fiber intake and adding more protein to your diet will effectively help lower cholesterol. When taking supplements, you must realize you are “supplementing” nutrients missing from your diet. It is better to opt alter your diet or lifestyle instead of opting for supplements. As beneficial as fish oil supplements are, research has now shown they cannot be relied on solely to help lower blood cholesterol level.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should stop using fish oil supplements but it is a good idea to make lifestyle changes which help you keep your blood cholesterol levels in check.

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