Does Fish oil lower cholesterol ?
Have you ever wondered, whether fish oil supplements can help lower your cholesterol levels?
Are you curious about whether or not fish oil and cholesterol are related? If so, then read on to find out what the scientific research has to say on this subject.
I wll take you through studies that have used different methods and looked at different populations, to make sure, we have the complete picture of this relationship.
This blog will be useful, if you currently take fish oil supplements and want to know more about the potential health benefits, but it is also relevant, if you are simply curious about the connection between fish oil and cholesterol.
This blog article also explore the evidence on whether fish oil supplements lower cholesterol. This blog will also look at the potential benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for heart health.
What is Fish Oil?
The benefits of fish oil are well documented, but what exactly is it and where does it come from?
Fish oil is comprised of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The most commonly found one is called omega-3 and has long been recognized for its various health benefits.
You have probably heard of it as an essential part of a healthy diet, but have you ever stopped to wonder what makes fish oil so special?
In essence, there are two main components that give fish oil its unique properties. They are called EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
Without getting too scientific, these compounds have been shown to offer countless benefits for those who supplement their diets with them.
What are the health benefits of fish oil?
Fish oil contains two omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
They are considered essential, because they cannot be synthesized by our bodies.
Many person consume too much omega-6 fatty acids, which come from vegetable oils like corn and sunflower oil.
Consuming too many omega-6 fatty acids relative to omega-3s has been associated with higher triglyceride levels and greater inflammation in humans.
There is also evidence that a diet high in saturated fat can impair cholesterol metabolism.
Fish oil helps to maintain or even reduce triglyceride levels, leading to a decreased risk of heart disease.
Additionally, fish oil may have positive effects on blood pressure and blood vessel elasticity.
Fish oil is also known to help improve cognitive functions.
How does omega-3 work in the body?
Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation and blood clotting, which can protect against heart disease.
More specifically, fish oil contains both EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA( docosahexaenoic acid).
Eicosanoids are signaling molecules made from fatty acids that regulate important bodily functions like blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
These fatty acids also help to lower cholesterol levels by increasing the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood.
Since our bodies do not produce them naturally (we can make small amounts of EPA from alpha-linolenic acid found in plant sources), we must get them through our diet.
The recommended doses of omega fatty acids vary considerably in different health organizations. Overall minimum of 250-500 mg of combined EPA and DHA are must for healthy individuals.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for alpha-linolenic acid is nearly 1.6 grams for men and 1.1 gram for women per day.
Is there a harmful interaction between fish oil and cholesterol medicine?
Studies have found that people who take fish oil along with cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may not get as much benefit from their statins as they would if they were taking them alone.
If you are on a cholesterol-lowering medication, it’s best to talk to your doctor about potential interactions with fish oil before starting an omega-3 supplement.
Those who are already at risk for elevated triglycerides should definitely avoid fish oil (and fatty, cold water fish) while taking a statin drug.
As always, you should consult your physician before combining any medications and supplements in a program.
What are the side effects of taking these together?
It’s not recommended to take fish oil supplements, if you are already taking cholesterol medication.
Fish oil can decrease your cholesterol levels and may also interfere with heart disease medications, making them less effective.
While some studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acids, one of several components in fish oil, could reduce triglyceride levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, they can potentially cause negative side effects like stomach upset or nausea.
Before taking any supplement, it is important to consult a health care professional who can advise you on your overall risks associated with certain combinations of drugs and vitamins.