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Fish oil is used for a wide range of conditions. It is most often used for conditions related to the heart and blood system. Some people use fish oil to lower blood pressure or triglyceride levels (fats related to cholesterol). Fish oil has also been tried for preventing heart disease or stroke. The scientific evidence suggests that fish oil really does lower high triglycerides, and it also seems to help prevent heart disease and stroke when taken in the recommended amounts. Ironically, taking too much fish oil can actually increase the risk of stroke.
Millions of Americans and Canadians take fish oil supplements on a daily basis, in hopes of maintaining good cardiovascular health. In 2013 these supplements generated $1.2 billion in sales in the U.S., which goes to show that its in high demand. Fish oil supplements contain omega-3s, which are wonderfully healthy fatty acids that are beneficial for brain and nervous system health, protective against heart disease, have anti-inflammatory qualities, and may reduce the risk of Alzheimers and other chronic diseases. It all sounds great, except that many of these supplements might not contain exactly what their labels claim.
LabDoor is a testing company that examined the 30 top-selling brands of fish oil supplements in the U.S. Researchers assessed the supplements omega-3 content, their mercury levels, and whether the supplements showed signs of rancidity.
First, they found that 6 out of the 30 supplement brands contained omega-3 levels that were, on average, 30 percent lower than …
A lot of the benefit of fish oil seems to come from the omega-3 fatty acids that it contains. Interestingly, the body does not produce its own omega-3 fatty acids. Nor can the body make omega-3 fatty acids from omega-6 fatty acids, which are common in the Western diet. A lot of research has been done on EPA and DHA, two types of omega-3 acids that are often included in fish oil supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce pain and swelling. This may explain why fish oil is likely effective for psoriasis and dry eyes. These fatty acids also prevent the blood from clotting easily. this might make fish oil helpful for some heart conditions.
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