Fish oil for heart health

There is plenty of information about on the internet about the use of fish oil (or krill oil, or squid oil…..) and the potential benefits to your health.  The information here is derived from a blog I enjoy reading.

The concept that doubling your daily dose of fish oil, along with a exercise and weight management plan, will improve the health of your heart is the result of a new study, published November 2013.

The study, published in the Journal of American Heart Association, found that daily supplementation with 1.8 grams of fish oil derived of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids—docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)—provides even greater heart health benefits than 1 gram.

Along with showing that more fish oil is better, the new research also found that body weight and exercise influence omega-3 needs. Interestingly, people who exercised more responded better to fish oil supplementation. Compared to more sedentary people, active participants absorbed more fish oil into their red blood cells for any given dose, suggesting that exercise may somehow enhance omega-3 use in the body.

The study also showed that weight should be considered when figuring out fish oil needs, as heavier people were found to need more omega-3 than smaller people. Based on their findings, the study authors estimated that a person weighing about 120 pounds (54.4kg) would need only about 0.9 grams of fish oil per day to improve cardiovascular health, whereas 1.2 grams per day would be needed for a person weighing about 165 pounds (75kg).

Fish oil

For best cardiovascular protection, recommendations are that a person should consume fatty fish twice per week, exercise regularly, and supplement with at least 1 gram of fish oil daily.

What are fatty fish? You can look at:

    • salmon
    • tuna
    • mackerel
    • trout
    • herring
    • sardines

All these fish contain omega-3 fatty acids. They are also known as oily fish. Generally they are cold water fish and are easy to source.  Now, these won’t remain healthy fatty fish if you get them battered and deep fried!! You will need to chose a healthy way of cooking these fish to retain the health benefits suggested here. Examples of cooking methods that are beneficial are:

    • steaming
    • broiling
    • grilling

If you’re not into fish, then some other sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts and flaxseed.

Flock MR et al. Determinants of erythrocyte omega-3 fatty acid content in response to fish oil supplementation: a dose-response randomized controlled trial. J Am Heart Assoc. 2013 Nov 19;2(6):e000513.


2 thoughts on “Fish oil for heart health

  1. Pingback: ARTICLE: FISH OIL | euzicasa

  2. Pingback: How to Boost Your Heart, Brain Health with Fish Oil | eJo

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