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The Pros and Cons of Taking a Fish Oil Supplement

Posted by North Ohio Heart | Ohio Medical Group on Tue, Feb 25, 2014

A fish oil supplement is often recommended to people who don’t eat much fish in their daily diet, but still want the heart and vascular benefits of omega-3s. It might seem like an easy solution to just add an extra pill to your vitamin routine, but you might not always be getting the benefits you expected. While you should always speak to your doctor before adding a supplement to your diet, we’ve compiled a quick list of pros and cons to help you decide if a fish oil supplement is the right choice for you.

PROS

  • pros cons fish oilFish oil supplements contain two types of omega-3 fatty acids: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), both of which can help prevent and manage heart disease.
  • Fish oil omega-3s might also help lower blood pressure, slow the build-up of plaque in the arteries, and reduce risk of stroke and heart attack.
  • Some studies have suggested that taking a fish oil supplement can lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • A fish oil supplement offers an easy solution for someone who doesn’t like fish or doesn’t have access to regularly add fish into their weekly diet.

CONS

  • While the speculated benefits of taking a fish oil supplement or eating fish regularly in your diet are mostly agreed upon, the exact degree of the benefits are unconfirmed.
  • Like most supplements, fish oil is largely unregulated and companies are not required to register their product with the FDA.
  • A research company called LabDoor recently tested 30 top-selling fish oil supplement brands and found inconsistencies with the actual ingredients and what the labels claimed. Many of the products contained levels of omega-3s that were up to 30% less than their labels claimed.
  • Taking a fish oil supplement can cause nausea and upset stomach in some people and might leave a fishy taste in your mouth.

Do you take a fish oil supplement? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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Topics: heart disease, heart health, heart attack, fish oil supplements

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