One of the methods of lowering triglycerides naturally is through the use of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in dietary sources and supplements such as fish oil supplements, krill oil, flaxseed oil and other nuts and vegetable oils. In this article, we are going to examine the use of fish oil supplements to help lower triglycerides levels.
Benefits of Fish Oil Supplements
The health benefits of fish oil supplements are supported by solid evidence from multiple scientific studies. Taken in recommended amounts, fish oil can
- Lower triglycerides
- Slow the buildup of atherosclerotic plaque, a.k.a. ‘hardening of the arteries’
- Lower blood pressure slightly
If you currently have cardiovascular disease, fish oil can help lower the risk of:
- Heart attacks
- Abnormal heart rhythms
Please note: you need to take only the recommended amount of fish oil. Taking more than that may increase the risk of bleeding and strokes in addition to other harmful effects.
Fish oil is used for a wide variety of medical conditions. With a reputation of being ‘brain food’, fish oil supplements help those with Alzheimer’s, ADHD, depression, psychosis and other mental disorders.
Another benefit of fish oil is for the eyes. Fish oil supplements are being used for dry eye syndrome, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.
There are many conditions that are benefitted with fish oil but to list them here is beyond the scope of this article. If you are interested, you can find more information here at webmd.com.
How Fish Oil Supplements Work
Fish oil supplements work by supplying the body with omega-3 fatty acids. Our bodies can’t manufacture omega-3 fatty acids so it needs to get it from what we eat. The two types of Omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil are docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acid (DHA and EPA).
These particular Omega-3 fatty acids reduce swelling and pain. They also prevent the blood from clotting easily, which may be the reason fish oil supplements work well for cardiovascular diseases.
In the case of triglycerides, there is evidence that the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil reduce high triglycerides (which are made up of fatty acids, by the way) in three ways:
- Lowering the liver’s production of VLDL, which is rich in triglycerides
- Accelerating the elimination of triglycerides from the blood
- Accelerating the conversion of triglycerides to energy
How Much Fish Oil Should You Take
In the case of high triglycerides, the recommended amount is 1 to 4 grams of fish oil daily. You need to discuss the use of fish oil with your doctor and, together with your doctor, determine the best dose in fish oil supplements for you.
Factors that will influence the amount of fish oil you need to take include any other drugs you may be taking. There is a prescription fish oil supplement available called Lovaza. If you are on this drug, you must talk with your doctor before adding any other fish oil supplements to your triglyceride-lowering regime.