Saturday, September 25, 2010

Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fats from Fish

A large number of scientific studies show that omega-3 fats (omega-3 fatty acids) from fish offer tremendous health benefits, particularly when it comes to preventing heart disease. Eating fatty fish two or three times a week appears to be sufficient to confer these health benefits.

Getting Your Omega-3 Fats
What types of fish should you eat to get your omega-3 fats? Health experts recommend that you eat fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and/or sardines two times a week. If you do not eat fish, you can get the same benefits from fish oil supplements, which come in 500 to 1000-milligram capsules. The American Heart Association recommends that people with heart disease get 1000 mg of omega-3 fats daily, preferably from food. The recommended amount for people with high triglyceride levels is 2000 to 4000 milligrams.

Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fats from Fish oil 
A large number of scientific studies show that omega-3 fats from fish offer a wide range of health benefits, especially when it comes to cardiovascular health. According to the research, omega-3 fats from fish or fish oil may help to:
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Reduce triglyceride levels
  • Reduce the risk of a heart attack
  • Prevent plaque buildup in the walls of the blood vessels 
  • Prevent blood clots
Other conditions for which the evidence may not be as strong, but for which some people may benefit include cancer, dementia, depression and infant brain development.

If you are being treated for heart disease or other serious health problem, and on prescription drugs, talk to your doctor and consult a registered dietitian before taking large amounts of fish oil supplements.

Note: Concerns About Mercury
Concern over mercury, a toxic metal, is of special concern for pregnant women, infants and children. Fish supplements may be free of mercury due to the purification process. If you are concerned, talk to your doctor and a registered dietitian to find out which option might be best for you.


Omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil, alpha-linolenic acid: MedlinePlus Supplements