Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Every year, approximately 610,000 people die from heart disease. That’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of heart disease, killing nearly 370,000 people annually. In fact, CHD is responsible for 1 in every 6 deaths in the U.S. In this article , we’ll take a closer look at the link between fish oil and heart disease.
What is fish oil and what are its benefits?
Fish oil is a type of fat that is derived from fish. It contains two omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. They are also thought to play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease.
Health Benefits of Fish Oil
Fish oil has a number of potential health benefits, including:
Reducing inflammation: Inflammation is a response by the body’s immune system to protect against infection and injury. However, chronic inflammation can lead to a number of health problems, including heart disease. Fish oil is thought to help reduce inflammation, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Improving heart health: Fish oil is thought to help improve a number of factors that are associated with heart disease, including blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Reducing the risk of stroke: Fish oil is also thought to reduce the risk of stroke by reducing inflammation and improving blood flow.
Supporting cognitive health: Fish oil is thought to support cognitive health by improving blood flow to the brain.
What does the research say?
There is some evidence to suggest that fish oil may help reduce the risk of heart disease. One study , for example, found that people who took a fish oil supplement had a lower risk of dying from heart disease. However, it’s important to note that this study was observational, so it cannot prove that fish oil caused the reduced risk of heart disease.
Other studies have looked at the effect of fish oil on cholesterol levels. One study found that fish oil supplements helped reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and triglycerides, but had no effect on HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
While the research is promising, it is still preliminary. More research is needed to understand the potential role of fish oil in reducing the risk of heart disease.
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How much fish oil should you take?
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people with heart disease should consume 1 gram of EPA + DHA per day. They also recommend that people who are at high risk for heart disease should consume 2 grams of EPA + DHA per day.
If you’re thinking about taking fish oil supplements, it’s important to talk to your doctor first. This is especially important if you have any medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
What are the side effects of taking fish oil ?
Fish oil supplements are generally safe. However, they can cause side effects, such as:
- Upset stomach
- Bad breath
If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking the supplement and talk to your doctor.
Are there any risks?
Fish oil supplements may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners. Therefore, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting a fish oil supplement.
Additionally, fish oil supplements may contain contaminants, such as mercury, lead, and arsenic. Therefore, it’s important to choose a high-quality supplement that has been tested for contaminants.
The bottom line
Fish oil is a type of fat that is derived from fish. It contains two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Fish oil has a number of potential health benefits, including reducing inflammation and improving heart health.
The evidence is preliminary, but the research is promising.