Are Fish Oil (Omega-3) Supplements Healthy? Important Remarks from a Cardiologist
Omega-3 fatty acids have many health benefits. It is known to be especially good for cardiovascular health. So what do cardiologists say about this?
Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for human metabolism. Studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammatory processes. They are fatty acids that are used as the building blocks of the cell membrane and are also necessary for the production of various hormones.
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to have many health benefits.
In particular, it protects cardiovascular health, lowers triglyceride levels, raises HDL known as good cholesterol, helps reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, and prevents high blood pressure.
Is it healthy to take omega-3 fatty acids, which are recommended to be taken through food, through supplements?
About 20 million people in the US take omega-3 supplements, mostly to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Doctors Divided About Omega-3 Supplements
Most doctors agree that high doses (3-4 grams per day) of omega-3s help lower triglycerides in selected patients.
But when it comes to heart attack prevention, cardiologists were split into two groups due to conflicting study results. Some cardiologists still advocated omega-3 supplements in high-risk patients, while others did not.
A New Study Has Extraordinary Results
The REDUCE-IT study looked at high doses of pure EPA (a type of omega-3), called icosapent ethyl, in people with established heart disease or high risk, statin medication, and high triglycerides.
Those who took omega-3 supplements had a 25% reduction in heart disease and stroke and a 20% reduction in death from heart disease.
Why was this study so positive when previous studies were either negative or weakly positive? Possible causes include the higher dose (4 grams per day) used or the omega-3 being pure EPA.
A cardiologist advises his patients on whether or not to take omega-3 supplements;
'If low-dose (1 gram per day) fish oil supplementation has any benefit, it's probably insignificant. A better way to get omega-3 fatty acids is to eat fatty fish such as sardines, herring, albacore tuna and salmon, among others.
If you decide to take an omega-3 supplement, find a high-quality supplement from a reputable company.'