Effects of Omega 3 Fish Oil

Nutritional Value of Fish

There always appears to be some sort of controversy encompassing fish and seafood. While some nutritionists praise its heart-healthy protein, some warn that shellfish is rich in cholesterol. Another argument touches the safety of eating fish that comes from polluted waters, particularly since there's no required government inspection of fish and seafood. As usual, consumers are caught in the cross fire, speculative if it's worth trying to classify the facts.

Tuna Fillet

To try and turn the tides —fish is worth it. Not only does it give low fat protein, but fish is also a main source of omega-3, a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that can bring down your chances of getting a heart attack, even when you already have heart disease. And since heart disease claims at least half a million lives each year in the U.S., we can't afford to leave fish out of our diet. Albacore tuna, herring, mackerel, salmon, bluefish and sablefish are known to bear the largest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, though all fish and shellfish contain them.

Omega-3 and Fish Oils

Researchers from more than 20 countries convened to discuss their findings on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on heart disease. Research from population studies, clinical tests and studies with patients showed without a doubt that omega-3 is vital to your health.

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Researchers detected the protective effects of these polyunsaturated fatty acids while monitoring the dietary habits of Greenland Eskimos, whose main food is fish. These people have almost no relative incidence of cardiovascular disorders. Other populations that devour large amounts of seafood and fish and have a low rate of heart disease are the Japanese, the Dutch and the Scandinavians.


When Michael Burr, M.D., of the Medical Research Council in Cardiff, Wales, suggested to his heart patients to eat at least two helpings of fish or seafood a week, he discovered that this dietary alteration made quite a difference: Those who took his advice lived longer than those who did not. Actually, people who had already survived a heart attack were 29-percent less likely to die from heart disease 2 years after they started regularly letting in seafood and fish in their diets.

Another finding shows that unborn and newborn babies require small amounts of omega-3 for proper growth of the brain, nervous system and retinas of the eyes. When the fetus develops, it begins to accumulate DHA, a type of omega-3, from the mother's womb. After birth, the baby gets DHA through breast milk. Hence, pregnant and nursing moms are encouraged to eat plenty of fish.

When obtained naturally through diet, fish oil is healthy. But mindful of supplements: Their safety hasn't been adequately proven through research. Actually, fish-liver oils hold high levels of cholesterol, plus vitamins A and D, all of which may be harmful when consumed in large quantities.

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