Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplements Benefits for Cholesterol Reduction
Omega-3 fatty acids supplements have become wildly popular in recent years due to their many purported healthful benefits. The University of Maryland Medical Center points out that because our bodies cannot manufacture them, they must be obtained from other food sources or supplements. These supplements are used for a wide variety of purposes including boosting brain function and generalized development and growth. However, Omega-3 is also being touted as a new standout among cholesterol lowering supplements as well.
One of the biggest means of support for the notion that Omega-3 fatty acids supplements may be useful for cholesterol management has to do with studies that have noted trends in persons that enjoy a Mediterranean style diet. It has been observed that these individuals (and those with similar diets including Eskimos) enjoyed markedly higher levels of HDL cholesterol and lower levels of LDL (bad cholesterol). These groups of people tend to ingest more Omega-3 fatty acid foods like fatty fish, which is likely lending to the notion that Omega-3 fatty acids supplements could in turn be useful for reducing cholesterol numbers.
Studies have also shown that Omega-3 fatty acid supplements and whole food sources can provide a reduction of high triglycerides. Essentially, triglycerides are nothing more than fat, and they are the most abundant fat found in the blood. However, high triglycerides can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease, and that the levels of the lipids are heavily influenced by diet and lifestyle factors.
Ultimately the goal of using lifestyle changes, diet and supplements to lower cholesterol is to reduce the risk of coronary related illness as a result of higher than desirable lipid levels. The University of Maryland points out that in terms of heart disease prevention, Omega-3 fatty acid supplements may be an ideal incorporation because the association between cardiovascular disease and Omega-3 fatty acids has been well studied and demonstrated. Because of the healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and the specific acids contained in fish oil (DHA and EPA) it has been concluded that not only can triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure all be reduced with Omega-3 fatty acids supplements, but ultimately the risk of heart attacks, strokes and death can also be reduced too.
Fish oil is a natural product that comes from nature that is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids and it is considered one of the best natural ways to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart related illnesses. But, while Omega-3 fatty acid supplements like fish oil boast many benefits for all parts of the body, there are also some risks to consider too. For instance, fish oil is considered a natural blood thinner and it may not be ideal for people who have existing bleeding disorders or take medications for the same purpose. And, The University of Maryland points out that both diabetics and schizophrenics may encounter absorption problems with Omega-3 fatty acids supplements, perhaps limiting their use among natural ways to lower cholesterol in these individuals.
The link between fish oil and cholesterol has been well established and that is due to the fact that fish oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids that have been proven to be immensely heart healthy. However, it is essential to talk to your health care provider before trying Omega-3 fatty acids supplements to ensure that it is safe for you to take and will not lead to increased risks or dangerous interactions. Additionally, it is important to remember that while supplements can be incredibly powerful, they are not a substitute for healthful lifestyle changes that can be even more related to reduced coronary risk. Eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise and reducing the intake of bad foods like saturated fats and sugars can play a dramatic role in cholesterol reduction, often even more so than the use of supplements.