Whats The Science Behind Omega
In the early 1970s, Danish researchers were the first to raise awareness of the possible benefits of fish oil after publishing their report on the low incidence of cardiovascular disease in Greenlands Inuit population despite their high fat diets.4,5 Only on a hunch, the scientists had proposed that a potential explanation was the large amounts of polyunsaturated fats found in the fatty tissues of the fish and seal meat that was a regular part of Inuit meals.4,5
Nearly a half century later, there have been more than 36,000 papers published, including more than 4000 human clinical trials, on the benefits of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. Based on the large body of evidence, the scientific consensus is that these long-chain omega-3s have a positive impact on various body systems including the heart, the brain, skin and joints, and the eyes**. These benefits can depend on the quantities of EPA and DHA omega-3s consumed daily.
What Are Other Benefits Of Epa And Dha Intake
While EPA and DHA omega-3s from fish oil are primarily known for their role in heart health,* the benefits of these good fats extend far beyond that of your cardiovascular system.**
All your cells: Omega-3s are some of the most important fatty acids you need for cellular health.** They play a key structural role in the membranes of every cell in your body and are essential for normal cell growth.**
Metabolism: Because of their roles in cell-signaling, EPA and DHA are important fatty acids you need to support metabolic health.**
Skin and joints: EPA and DHA are essential for keeping skin looking healthy and supporting joint health.**
Triglyceride levels and Circulation: Beyond other well-documented cardiovascular benefits, a dosage of at least 900 mg per day of EPA and DHA helps maintain triglyceride levels already within a normal range.** EPA and DHA also support healthy circulation.**
Mom and Baby: During times of pregnancy and breastfeeding, DHA helps replenish supplies for mom and supports babys brain and eye development.** A dose of at least 200 mg per day of DHA can help support moms before, during, and after pregnancy.**
Brain: Omega-3s, primarily as DHA, are naturally found in our brain, as part of brain cell membranes. These omega-3s play an important role in normal brain structure.** A dosage of 2620 milligrams per day of EPA and DHA can help support brain health.**
Theres no need to supplement with fish oil if you consume seafood regularly?
Do They Have A Direct Relationship With Cholesterol
As there are mixed reviews on how omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids affect cholesterol, its best to lay out all the knowledge and findings out there. While the American Heart Association and Heart Foundation, claim that consuming polyunsaturated fats help increase HDL levels and lower LDL levels , it may be the case that not all polyunsaturated fats are considered equal. According to the International Food Information Council Foundation, omega-3 fatty acids decrease serum triglyceride and total cholesterol levels, and may increase or have no effect on high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, while diets high in omega-6 fatty acids are associated with lower blood levels of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol, but also with lower blood levels of the protective HDL cholesterol. Overall, this means that our bodies may be out of sync in our omega-3 to omega-6 balance. Omega-3 seems to have a better outlook for healthy HDL levels than omega-6, which focus more on LDL levels.
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Should People With High Cholesterol Eat Fish And Seafood
For most people, it is beneficial to consume oily fish. The United States Department of Agricultures Dietary Guidelines for Americans 20202025 recommends that most adults eat at least 8 ounces of low-mercury fish and seafood each week.
On average, this gives someone 250 milligrams of DHA and EPA per day, though the exact amount will depend on the type of fish.
However, because some fish and seafood contains dietary cholesterol, people who struggle to control their cholesterol levels may need to be more cautious.
The United Kingdom charity, Heart UK, recommends that people with this concern speak with a dietitian about what is best for them.
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Tip #: Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 and 6 make up an important part of our body, such as the cell membrane structure of our brain, eyes, and other organs. Importantly, PUFAs like Omega-3 fatty acids help regulate inflammation, which might increase the risk of developing atherosclerotic plaque.
In an epidemiological study of the Greenland population, inhabitants showed lower rates of CVD, likely due to their high consumption of fish and fish oils. In this study, researchers analyzed the concentration of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in the blood. They found that those with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids had higher levels of HDL. Omega-3 fatty acids may also reduce LDL levels and therefore prevent the development of atherosclerotic plaque.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved omega-3 fatty acid usage to help regulate high blood cholesterol. The dosage recommended according to the FDA is 4 grams per day of Omega 3 fatty acids. It is typically consumed in 2-gram capsules twice a day. These supplements have been listed as generally safe by the FDA.
If You Have A Genetic Variation You Can Still Maintain Heart Health Without Omega 3
If you have an APOA1 gene variation, you may benefit from a few lifestyle and diet changes. Keep in mind that fish may not be as healthy for you as it is for others, so it could be beneficial to adjust your diet accordingly. Also, taking fish oils with the goal to improve your cholesterol is likely counterproductive.
Phytosterols have a similar effect on cholesterol as Omega 3s effect on individuals with a normal APOA1 gene, so increasing your phytosterol intake could also be beneficial.
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Can I Eat Fish
Oily fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and herring are best. Dr. Cho recommends aiming for 2 servings per week.
You can supplement with fish oil, but be careful because very high doses of pure fish oil can lower your triglyceride levels and increase your good cholesterol, she says. It doesnt lower your LDL, though. Be sure to read your fish oil supplement label.
When reading the label of your fish oil bottle, look out for the EPA plus DHA in each serving since those are the effective ingredients. For example, if your fish oil says 1000 mg of fish oil but only contains 300 mg of EPA and DHA, know that youre taking 700 mg of unnecessary fish blubber. Make sure youre choosing fish oil with the highest amount of EPA plus DHA in each pill.
Take A Fish Oil Supplement
In an ideal world, wed all eat plenty of wild fatty fish and get an adequate amount of omega-3s and consume far fewer amounts of omega-6. This isnt the reality. Im a holistic nutritionist and this isnt even my reality. Omega-6 is ubiquitous, its in almost everything. Our intake is high. Which is why an omega-3 fish oil supplement is so necessary. You can check out my recommend fish oil supplement here.
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Should I Be Concerned About Mercury In Fish
Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and as a result of industrial pollution. It falls from the air and can collect in streams and oceans, where it is converted into methylmercury. Too much methylmercury can be harmful. This is especially true for unborn and young children.
Some fish have higher levels of mercury than others. These include shark, swordfish, tilefish, and King mackerel. Everyone should limit the amounts of these fish in their diet. Women who are pregnant or nursing and young children should not eat these types of fish. Women who are pregnant or nursing can safely eat 12 ounces of other types of fish each week. These include shellfish, canned fish and smaller fish.
Albacore Tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. Limit the amount of albacore tuna you eat to 6 ounces per week.
Prescription Vs Otc Supplements
Prescription omega-3 fatty acids contain a certain amount of natural or modified forms of omega-3 fatty acids. They are purified and are thoroughly rid of impurities such as trans-fats, mercury, or other contaminants.
Prescription omega-3 fatty acids are usually taken by individuals with very high triglyceride levels who are in need of larger doses of omega-3 fats to bring their triglycerides down.
Supplements that are available over-the-counter are classified as foods by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . Therefore, they do not have to undergo the rigorous purification processes or efficacy studies that prescription drugs have to go through.
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Natural And Powerful Fish Oil Cholesterol Effects
Fish oil is an amazing thing that you can take to help you get healthy, prevent heart problems, and keep your cholesterol under control.
There are many fish oil cholesterol effects that you need to know about, such as:
Isnt it amazing how this oil that comes from fish can be so beneficial in helping you to control the byproduct of other kinds of oil? Ironic, isnt it?
Are You Getting Enough Omega
Since the initial discovery of the connection between fish oil and heart health in the 1970s, there have been more than 36,000 studies on eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid omega-3 fatty acids. These two main omega-3s, found in fish oil, are now among the most thoroughly studied nutrients in the world for heart health.
Because of the vast body of scientific evidence, the American Heart Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have aligned in making recommendations for fatty fish intake, along with achieving a balanced diet and an active lifestyle, for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Additionally, the FDA has a qualified health claim related to EPA and DHA omega-3s: Supportive but not conclusive research shows that the consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. For information regarding dosage of omega-3 fatty acids, see the supplements facts panel on your product label.
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Other Uses Than Controlling Cholesterol Fish Oil Is Good For
The above benefits of fish oil are awesome, but did you know that fish oil can do more than just control your cholesterol, keep your heart healthy, fight off cancer, help you process food efficiently, and balance your mood?
Here are a few uses other than controlling cholesterol fish oil is good for:
Wow, the benefits just keep piling up, and fish oil is turning out to be quite an awesome thing to take.
What If Im Allergic To Fish Or Dont Want To Eat Fish
Fish is the best food source of omega-3 fatty acids, but several plants contain ALA. This is not as rich of a source of omega-3 fatty acids, but some studies show that ALA can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Good sources of ALA are ground or milled flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts, soy foods and canola oil. Another source of ALA is algae or algae oil, which is broken down to DHA. Many foods that are fortified with omega-3 use algae oil. These are excellent options for vegetarians that do not eat fish.
There are currently no serving size recommendations for ALA-rich foods. But, adding these foods to your diet regularly may help your heart health.
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A Natural Way To Lower Cholesterol Being Heart Smart
Now that you know about fish oil and how it is awesome for your health, are there other things you can do to help nourish your heart and keep it healthy?
The answer is YES!!
Being heart smart is the best natural way to lower cholesterol, and you will find that there are many things you can do to care for your heart.
Aside from exercise, reducing drinking, cutting out cigarettes, and reducing stress, eating the right foods is the best way to keep your heart healthy.
Want tips on a natural way to lower cholesterol? Here are a few for you:
Having a heart smart diet is the way to go, and you will find that it is the most effective way to control your cholesterol.
Have Additional Questions About How Your Apoa1 Gene Impacts Omega 3 Ask Our Chief Scientist And Co
The only true way to know if youre impacting your cholesterol is to test for any APOA1 genetic variations.
If cholesterol is something you need to improve, its important not to decrease your HDL cholesterol levels. Our lifestyle quiz can provide you with a guide on what your Omega3 need is, based on your current diet and lifestyle.
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The Lowdown On Cholesterol
High-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or HDL, is considered “good” cholesterol because it helps your body get rid of some of the bad type: called low-density lipoprotein , according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It “picks up extra cholesterol particles from tissues and blood vessels and brings them back to the liver, where it is broken down and passed from the body,” explains Rajsree Nambudripad, MD, an integrative medicine specialist with St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, California. “The higher your HDL, the better.”
A desirable level of HDL for men and women is 60 milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood or above, according to the Mayo Clinic.
However, HDL only carriers away about a third to a fourth of your bad LDL cholesterol, the American Heart Association says. And it’s LDL that gives cholesterol its bad rap. Too much LDL cholesterol in your blood can cause a buildup of plaque in artery walls, restricting or blocking blood flow and possibly leading to heart problems, according to AHA.
Supplement Suggestions Have Changed
In the past, niacin and red yeast rice have been recommended to lower total cholesterol, but neither is now.
Niacin is not recommended as a supplement to lower total cholesterol because the doses would have to be quite high to make a difference, and that high level could increase your risk of developing diabetes, worsen gout or result in liver damage, Morey says.
Niacin is available as a prescription and in dietary supplement form. However, the supplement version shouldn’t be used in place of prescription niacin because of possible serious side effects and because the niacin amount in supplements may vary widely, according to AHA.
Red yeast rice contains a compound called monacolin K, which may reduce cholesterol, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required this compound to be removed from all products sold in the United States, Morey says. Even if you were to find red yeast rice with monacolin K, the quality and quantity is not guaranteed in the same way a prescribed medication is, Morey says.
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Your Apoa1 Gene And Your Omega 3 Needs
Taking a simple at home DNA test, like Rootines DNA Sample Kit, will help you understand if you do, or do not, have a variation on the APOA1 gene.
If you have a normal APOA1 gene, then taking Omega 3 for heart health could be beneficial. However, it is important to make sure you are taking the correct amount for your body. The dosage will depend on your lifestyle and your current blood levels.
If you have a genetic variation, taking Omega 3 may be decreasing your HDL cholesterol levels.
Dietary Approaches To Lowering Cholesterol
Eating more foods with fiber, soy, omega-3 fatty acids, and plant compounds similar to cholesterol can lower LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol.
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Fish Oil Research: Mixed Results
Other studies have also looked at fish oil and cardiovascular health. The evidence has been mixed, partly because researchers used different types and quantities of fish oils and different placebos.
- The 2007 JELIS trial also evaluated the use of EPA and statins and found a reduction in non-fatal coronary events. Major coronary events were reduced slightly in those with a history of coronary artery disease. No placebo was used.
- The 2019 VITAL study used supplements including vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids. It showed fish oil didnt lower the risk for major cardiac events.
- The 2019 REDUCE-IT trial evaluated icosapent ethyl , a high-dose pure EPA . The study included people with heart disease or people who were taking a statin medication with raised triglyceride levels. People on the omega-3 supplement had a 25% lower incidence of heart disease and stroke, and a 20% reduction in death from heart disease.