Are fish oil supplements good for you?

They can be beneficial for many people due to their rich content of omega-3 fatty acids

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By Rachel Maniquis

Fish oil supplements, popularly sold as fish oil pills, are a common way to increase our intake of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have a number of health benefits. Our body needs Omega-3 fatty acids, but doesn’t produce them naturally, so we usually acquire them from the fish we eat. In supplements, the fish oil is extracted from fish such as tuna, salmon, cod, herring, and halibut.

Although fish oil pills have a good reputation for promoting healthy hearts, there are both benefits and risks associated with taking them.

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Fish oil pills salmon
Fish oil supplements are usually made from fish such as salmon

Fish oil supplements contain two important omega-3 fatty acids – EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which are known to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, which reduces the risk of coronary artery disease. Scientific research supports these findings, but also stresses that the supplements must be taken in the recommended amounts. Otherwise, they actually increase risk of heart disease and stroke. Fish oil pills also have anti-inflammatory properties and help to ease pain caused by arthritis by increasing joint mobility.

Risks of taking fish oil pills include problems with heartburn, nausea, bloating, and indigestion. Also, if you have fish allergies, the pills can cause your body to break out in rashes. As stated earlier, proper dosing should be followed in order to avoid these and more dangerous side effects. In high doses, fish oils supplements may increase the risk of bleeding and stroke.

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Remember – Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in regulating our metabolism and development. If we follow a balanced diet that is low in cholesterol, and take follow the recommended dosage, fish oil supplements can help us maintain a healthier lifestyle.