Fish oil is a beneficial substance which surprisingly, cannot be self-formed by human body. Various research has been done on the substance, especially on its health-related functions. In fact, fish oil is not only beneficial for humans, but also various animals. The functions it provides vary from relieving pain, minimizing the effects of allergies, inhibiting diabetes, lowering cholesterol, and thus, preventing the risk of having heart diseases.
Fish oil and cholesterol lowering
Fish oil is derived from variety of fatty fish loaded with omega-3, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, cod, and tuna. Other food sources, such as walnuts and green, leafy vegetables also contain a considerable amount of this beneficial omega-3 fatty acid. Todays, there are various kinds of capsuled fish oil which can be consumed as an additional food supplement. Capsuled fish oil is covered with vitamin E-containing capsules that adds its health benefit for the body.
In human body, sufficient consumption of fish oil is believed to be able to lower the level of cholesterol, which also means controlling the possibility of heart and cardiovascular diseases. Since the body cannot synthesize its own omega-3, the necessity of this substance needs to be provided by consuming more food sources loaded with the substance.
When used for cholesterol lowering purpose—with a doctor’s approval, fish oil works by lowering the amount of triglycerides in our bloodstream. Triglycerides level goes hand-in-hand with cholesterol level. Hence, high triglycerides simultaneously means high cholesterol level. These substances are fat, which have the ability of blocking the blood vessels, causing them to narrow down and thus, limit the amount of blood pumped into the heart. They may also cause arteries hardening and artery-wall thickening, which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Proper dosage of fish oil cut down the amount of triglycerides by 20 to 50%, which is a good thing for the health.
What is the proper amount to consume?
Although consuming fish oil is beneficial for lowering cholesterol and minimize the risk of having some other illnesses, excessive consumption is not recommended, since it increases the risk of stroke. The FDA recommends two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids, the EPA and DHA, and 1 to 4g of fish oil per day for cholesterol lowering purpose. It is recommended to take the supplement after meals. Some people take two 1000-mg capsules in the morning and two others at night after meals. If the capsule is 1200 mg, you are advised to take 3 capsules per day. However, talking to your doctor about your entire health condition might be helpful for determining the right amount you require, since there are some side effects triggered by daily consumption of 4000-mg fish oil, such as:
Since omega-3 reduces blood clotting, bleeding risk among people consuming fish oil supplements can possibly increase. Hence, it is advised to stop consuming the supplement a week or two prior to any surgical procedures and resume it afterwards.
In some people, fish oil may irritate the lining of the intestine, causing gas to accumulate. As a result, frequent burping might be experienced after consuming fish oil. Bloating is also common with fish oil consumption. If this side effect gets more severe and annoying, talk to the doctor immediately.
This is probably the most harmful side effect of excessive and continuous consumption of fish oil supplements. When you have palpitations, your heart is unable to pump blood effectively. As a result, you might experience symptoms such as chest pain, which if left unobserved and untreated may develop into stroke and heart disease.