Is fish oil for triglycerides lowering actually effective? Is there really a link between fish oil and triglycerides? Fish oil obtained from fatty tissues of fish is seen to be able to reduce the levels of triglycerides in the blood. Read more…
We’ve all heard about good fats and bad fats. We know monounsaturated fats are good fats, whereas, saturated and polyunsaturated fats are detrimental and foods with such fats should be consumed in limited amounts. However, how much do we know about triglycerides? Triglycerides are also a type of fat found in the blood. High levels of this fat can conduce to heart attacks and death, thus, we need to keep the levels of triglycerides in our blood between 150 mg/dL and 170 mg/dL. Triglycerides levels can be lowered by fish oil.
What is Fish Oil?
Oil derived from the oily gorged tissues of fishes like trout, sardines, salmon, mackerel, etc. is termed as fish oil. This fish oil has been touted for its health benefits and we can gladly say, it has been praised for the right reasons. Fish oil is truly beneficial to the body, as it improves one’s health. The component that gives fish oil its health attributes is the omega-3 essential fatty acid content present in them.
Fish actually do not produce omega-3 fatty acids in their bodies, instead they receive them from the microalgae ingested, which they then accumulate in their tissues. These omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of heart attacks, brain disorders and cancer by controlling inflammation and blood clot formation in the body. It also lowers blood pressure, inhibits deposition of plaque on the walls of arteries and most important of all it reduces the rate at which triglycerides are formed in the liver.
What are Triglycerides?
Triglycerides mainly constitutes of vegetable and animal fats, that are single molecules of glycerol combined with three molecules of fatty acids. In simple terms, triglycerides are a type of fat found in our blood. The fatty food we consume contains calories, far more than what our body actually needs. The excess calories, the body converts into triglycerides and is stored in the adipose tissues or fat cells of the body. As and when the body requires energy, the body releases hormones that convert these stored triglycerides into energy.
However, if one consumes far too much fatty foods, the level of triglycerides stored in the body will rise. High levels of triglycerides (200 to 499 mg/dL) is not healthy, as they conduce to deposition of fat on the walls of the arteries, thereby leading to hardening of blood arteries. This in turn leads to atherosclerosis and heart attacks. Thus, it is crucial to lower the levels of triglycerides in the blood. Various blood tests are available to check triglyceride levels in the blood.
Fish Oil and Triglycerides
The level of triglycerides can be controlled by various ways like exercising, avoiding high calorie diet, eating healthy, etc. However, there is another way to lower triglyceride levels; by consuming fish oil. Fish oil is said to be effective in lowering triglyceride levels in the blood. How often have we read about the health benefits of a particular oil or herb, only to be disappointed at the end because there is no scientific evidence to back the claims touted by marketers. However, in this case you need not worry!
Extensive research has proved that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil lower triglycerides levels in the blood. In 2003, the American Heart Association recommended that supplementation with 2000-4000 mg of EPA + DHA everyday could reduce triglycerides by 20-40%. Fish oil supplements are generally given to people with high levels of triglycerides in their blood. The omega 3 fatty acids in the fish oil reduce the formation of triglycerides in the liver, thereby, reducing the levels of triglycerides in the blood.
We know how fish oil lowers the level of triglycerides in the blood, however, there is something else we need to know. Fish oil is not a triglyceride eliminating wonder oil. The level of triglyceride increases as you consume high amounts of fatty food. Thus, in order to reduce the levels of triglycerides first stop indulging in fatty foods. Then depend on fish oil for extra help! If you rely completely on fish oil you will die anyway, because the fish available today is contaminated by pollutants like mercury, PCBs, DDT and pesticides.