Fish Oil And Triglyceride Control
The Mayo Clinic Proceedings links higher EPA and DHA intake to a 35% lower risk of fatal heart attacks. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce high triglycerides and provide additional cardiovascular benefits.
Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in October 2021. Written by: Marsha McCulloch, RD.
Everyone has heard about the cardiovascular risks posed by high LDL cholesterol.
But even when dangerous cholesterol particles are controlled, another lipid called triglycerides can block blood flow to the heart or brain.
Conventional medicine defines elevated triglycerides when blood levels exceed 149 mg/dL.1
Life Extension has long advocated that the reference range for optimal triglyceride levels should be less than 100 mg/dL.
Omega-3 fatty acids can lower triglycerides by as much as 50%.2
A recent meta-analysis found that EPA and DHA intake was associated with a 35%reduced risk of fatal heart attacks.3
How Fish Oil Lowers Triglycerides
Oral intake of fish oil containing the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA is a proven way to bring triglycerides down.
Fish oil lowers triglycerides by:13-17
- Increasing the clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins from the bloodstream,
- Increasing the activity of lipoprotein lipase, which breaks down triglycerides so the bodys tissues can use the fatty acids.
Should You Take Fish Oil Every Day
You can take fish oil every day. However, high doses of fish oil over time may promote immune system suppression due to the powerful anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fats .
Its important to check the dosages of EPA and DHA in your fish oil before you purchase, so that you dont buy one that could lead to this effect.
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Vegetology Clinically Proven Fish Oil Pills & Softgels For Brain Health
Even though the spotlight is on fish oil, we also included a vegan company that makes ideal alternatives to fish supplements. We talk about Vegetology, an all-natural based establishment constructed from a team of geeks who create immaculate supplements.
This company focuses on ecology, sustainability, and ethics. Working under high measures, they collect the power from nature and develop plant-sourced merchandise. Interestingly, their products are registered with the Vegan and Vegetarian society.
Everything is GMO and gluten-free, and Vegetology squeezes as much as they can from the harvests. They dont compromise on purity and quality they bring only the highest-rated products. Under strict surveillance and standards, all goods are created and produced in the UK.
In addition, the company presents a 30-day money-back guarantee and free shipping worldwide above $100. Correspondingly, they offer three products for the price of two, a bonus that customers enjoy. They are proud of their mission and remain one of the best nature supporters in the world.
Highlights of the product
Opti3 Omega-3 EPA and DHA is an adorable biodegradable package that offers every attribute of fatty acids, just this time acquired from plants. The Opti3 complex is a formula made from a novel combination of algae, which provides the body with the needed levels of EPA and DHA. The product is clean from fish and animal traces and has the highest purity level.
Fish Oil Dosage: How Much Should You Take Per Day
Many people take fish oil supplements daily.
Aside from supporting your brain, eyes and heart, fish oil can also fight inflammation in your body .
Many healthcare professionals recommend it. However, you may not know whats the right dosage for you.
This article discusses how much fish oil you should take for optimum health.
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Fish Oilincreases Fat Oxidation In Your Muscles
Didyou know that your muscles, including your heart, love to use fat for energy?
The usage of fat for energy in your muscles is determined by LPL activity, and research has shown that muscle LPL activity is enhanced by fish oil.
In other words,
Butthats not all
Another study has shown that fish oil increases the expression of genes which regulate fat oxidation in your muscles.
What To Look For In A Supplement
Dietary supplements arent regulated in the U.S., so its impossible to know just what youre getting when you pluck a bottle off the shelfunless it has USP Dietary Supplement Verification, which means the product has been tested to verify it contains what the label says it does. Just look for the USP seal on the label.
Choose an over-the-counter omega-3 supplement thats purified and contains EPA and DHA, says Robert Greenfield, M.D., a cardiologist at Memorial Care Heart and Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA.
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Why Are Omega 3 Fats Good For Health
There has been lots of research into Omega 3 fats and oily fish and how they can improve heart health.
In countries where people eat more oily fish, such as in the Mediterranean, Greenland and Japan, fewer people have heart disease compared to countries where people eat very little oily fish, such as the UK.
The Omega 3 fats EPA and DHA can help protect the heart and blood vessels from disease: They can help:
- lower triglycerides
- improve circulation
- prevent blood clots
- lower blood pressure
- keep the rhythm of your heart steady.
Higher levels of the Omega 3 fats EPA and DHA in the blood have also been linked with a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. There is still research on-going, but doctors think that the benefits come from eating foods that contain omega 3s rather than over-the-counter supplements. However, some high-dose Omega 3 supplements may be prescribed by your doctor to treat hypertriglyceridaemia.
What About Supplements
Here at HEART UK we dont recommend supplements of Omega 3s. Its always best to get your nutrients from foods rather than supplements.
Thats because foods contain a whole range of different nutrients which improve your health in different ways. But supplements only contain specific nutrients.
If you choose to top up on Omega 3s by using an over-the-counter fish oil or Omega 3 supplement, follow these golden rules.
- Dont choose fish liver oils, they contain less Omega 3 than fish oils and too much vitamin A.
- Go for a supplement with lower levels of vitamin A less than 1mg per day .
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid supplements that contain vitamin A.
- Aim to get 500mg of EPA and DHA combined each day, this works out as around the same as a 140g portion of oily fish per week.
- If you take medicines to thin your blood, such as aspirin, warfarin or heparin, speak to your doctor before taking fish oil supplements as they can also thin your blood.
- If you are vegan or vegetarian, you can take marine oils made from algae.
If your doctor has prescribed Omega 3 supplements to treat hypertriglyceridaemia, continue to take these.
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Add Flax To Your Diet
Eat your flax instead of taking it in pill or oil form, Dr. Cho advises. Non-food versions lack fiber, lignans and protein. Instead, aim for two to three tablespoons of ground flaxseed a day, putting it in cereal, yogurt or salad.
Is Krill Oil Better Than Fish Oil For Lowering Triglycerides
search shows that krill oil may be even more effective at lowering triglycerides than its well-known counterpart.
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and seafood lower triglyceride levels and offer a variety of other health benefits. While fish oil has been promoted as a leading source of these valuable nutrients, a new generation of omega-3 supplements is on the rise.
Krill, a type of tiny crustacean at the bottom of the food chain, is one of the most prominent species of zooplankton in the Antarctic. It contains the same omega-3 fatty acids as fish oil, and research shows that it may be even more effective at lowering triglycerides than its well-known counterpart.
Recommended Reading: How To Reduce Cholesterol And Triglycerides
British Columbia Specific Information
The BC Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control have developed recommendations that will help you and your family choose and eat fish that are low in mercury. To find out which fish are low, medium and high in mercury, see HealthLinkBC File #68m Food Safety: Mercury in Fish.
Additionally, BC oysters are high in cadmium. Health Canada recommends that adults eat a maximum of 12 BC oysters per month and that children eat a maximum of 1.5 BC oysters per month. For more information, see BCCDC – Cadmium in BC Shellfish.
The Best Over The Counter Fish Oil Supplements
When it comes to fish oil supplements, the quality and concentration of the products available varies widely. Consumer labs has tested a number of products and given many their seal of approval.
Of the 17 products tested by ConsumerLab.com, 14 were ultimately approved for their quality. Some over the counter supplements actually contain nearly as much EPA or DHA as the prescription omega-3s but can be bought at a cheaper price.
Various forms of supplements were tested including capsules, chews or softgels. The level of omega-3 fatty acid contained in these products ranged from as little as 60 mg to 1420 mg.
When choosing a fish oil supplement, it is important to focus more on the amount of active ingredients in the oil rather than the total amount of oil they contain.
Some supplements are also much more highly concentrated than others. More concentrated products allow a person to consume smaller capsules but get more omega-3s into their system.
For example, both Spring Valley Fish Oil and Minami garden of Life Fish Oil contain 1000 mg of fish oil. However, the Minami softgel provides over three times more omega-3s as the Spring valley softgel.
Barleans Ideal Omega3 Softgels
Struggling to get enough fish oil in your diet? Our pharmaceutical-grade Omega3 softgels are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, and they come in a yummy orange flavor. The combination of EPA and DHA from our sustainably fished pollock means that you can enjoy great health with just one Ideal Omega3 softgel capsule each day.
Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega D3
Nordic Naturals has put a lot of effort into name recognition: they take care to point out that their fish oil comes from deep sea fish , and that each batch is tested for toxin contents.
In addition to the Ultimate Omega D3, the company also offers a lower-priced product called simply Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Purified Fish Oil. The Ultimate version is definitely the one you want. It contains 685 mg of omega 3 per capsule, and 58% of the total fish oil in the product is DHA and EPA.
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Dr Tobias Optimum Omega 3 Fish Oil
As the top-selling fish oil supplement on Amazon.com, Dr. Tobias Optimum Omega 3 has big-time name recognition. Each softgel capsule provides 1000 mg of fish oil, including 400 mg of EPA and 300 mg of DHA.
According to analytical testing in an independent lab, Dr. Tobias Optimum Omega 3 contains 2 parts per billion of mercurythe upper limit for safety is 100 parts per billion, for reference. Of the 1000 mg of fish oil per capsule, 845 mg of that was omega-3 fat, or 85%.
In all, Dr. Tobias Optimum Omega 3 is just what youd expect from a top-seller: reliable, consistent, safe, and containing nothing outrageously fancy. Its a good option if you want a simple, no-nonsense fish oil supplement.
How They Lower Triglycerides
When you consume fish oil or other foods with omega-3s, key essential fatty acids get incorporated into your cells where they counteract the chemical breakdown of fats . Those lipids would eventually be delivered to your liver for further processing. Less fat going to your liver means less fat being packaged into triglycerides for the body use later on.
Omega-3s generally help the heart in other ways, too, lowering inflammation, counteracting blood clotting, and minimizing the buildup of plaque inside the arteries.
How To Choose A Fish Oil Supplement
There are several factors to consider when selecting a fish oil supplement:
- Supplement quality. Its important to check the ingredient list carefully and steer clear of supplements containing fillers or artificial ingredients. Ideally, look for products that have undergone third-party testing and are certified by independent organizations, like International Fish Oil Standards , United States Pharmacopeia , NSF International, or the Therapeutic Goods Association .
- Dosage. Pay close attention to the dosage, including the amount of EPA and DHA. Some products may also contain ALA, which is a form of omega-3 fatty acids in plants thats converted to EPA and DHA in small amounts (
- 3 ).
- Supplement type. There are also several forms of fish oil supplements, including softgels, liquids, or gummies. While some prefer the convenience and ease of capsules, liquids and gummies may work better for others.
Which Prescription Fish Oil Capsules Are Available To Treat Hypertriglyceridemia
Several prescription fish oil capsules have been approved by the FDA to treat triglyceride levels of more than 500 mg/dL. A report by Hilleman and Smer states that omega-3 fatty acid products available in prescription formulations have been found to significantly reduce triglycerides. In patients with baseline triglyceride levels of 500 mg/dL or greater taking 4 g/day of a prescription product, decreases compared with placebo ranged from 12.2% to 51.6%. Unlike the supplements, the prescription products are subject to FDA approval, and their safety and efficacy must be established prior to marketing. Currently, prescription capsules contain either a combination of EPA and DHA or EPA alone. There is some concern regarding the use of DHA in patients with dyslipidemia, since high-dose omega-3 products containing DHA increase LDL cholesterol levels the impact on HDL cholesterol levels varies.
One example of a prescription product is Lovaza. One 1-g capsule contains at least 900 mg of ethyl esters of omega-3 fatty acids . Another prescription omega-3 fatty acid product, Omtryg, was approved by the FDA in 2014 and contains EPA and DHA in the same amounts as Lovaza.
A third prescription fish oil is an ultra-pure omega fatty acid that contains an ethyl ester of EPA, icosapent ethyl . Each 1-g icosapent capsule contains at least 96% EPA and no DHA. Past studies suggest that highly purified EPA may lower triglyceride levels without increasing LDL cholesterol levels.
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What Happens If I Take Too Much Omega
To avoid toxicity, be aware of the appropriate dosage listed above. There is no established safe upper limit for omega-3s. However, the FDA considers supplements under 5 g safe.
Therefore, if you consume more than this amount or more than what your healthcare provider recommends, you may want to seek medical advice or visit the emergency room.
Practical Pearls: Lowering Triglycerides With Omega
Approximately 27 percent of adult Americans have elevated fasting triglycerides .1 This commonly encountered dyslipidemia is an important indicator of the presence of atherogenic lipoprotein particles and may be considered a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease.2 While genetic defects are responsible for familial forms of hypertriglyceridemia, secondary causes of hypertriglyceridemia often can be attributed to dietary factors , medications and certain disease states that alter lipid metabolism .3 These secondary causes should be addressed prior to or in conjunction with the implementation of corrective therapy , fibrates, niacin).
Two prescription versions of n-3 FA are currently available in the U.S. and have been shown to lower TG by 27 to 45 percent.6,7 In situations in which cost or drug formulary restrictions preclude their use, over-the-counter formulations may be used8 under the supervision of a lipid specialist.
Patients may inquire about krill oil because of the reported lack of fishy aftertaste, smaller capsule size and potential for lower pill burden since krill oil may have better bioavailability than fish oil.11
Shellfish allergies do not preclude the use of fish oil, although safety in this patient population has not been established.
Disclosure statement: There are no disclosures to report.
References are listed on page 34 of the PDF.
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Who Should Buy Fish Oil
In the world of supplements, fish oil is one of the most widely known as its name suggests, it is the concentrated and purified form of the fats that are found in oily fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring.
Its health benefits are widely known some research suggests it may improve triglycerides, pregnancy and heart health, and possibly also decrease your likelihood of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers disease or cognitive decline.
There are three main types of omega-3s: ALA, DHA and EPA. ALA is alpha-linoleic acid, found mostly in plants like flaxseed and walnuts. The forms found in fish, seafood and eggs are eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid .
The body can convert ALA to EPA and DHA but it is a slow and inefficient process and there are various factors that can affect that conversion. Most of the research below focuses on the benefits obtained from supplementation with fish oil, which contains both DHA and EPA.
Fish oil has a huge range of potential applications, but the strongest evidence for its uses lies in three primary categories. These are reducing risk of chronic disease, improving mental health and cognitive function, and reducing inflammation.
The cognitive benefits of fish oil are related to the strong importance of the ingredients DHA and EPA in the brainthese compounds work both independently and interdependently to improve brain plasticity and boost cognitive function.