Fish Oil Supplements Have No Effect on Health, Really?

Fish oil is one of the popular supplements that is claimed to lower the risk of heart disease thanks to its omega-3 fatty acid content in it. But as it turned out, fish oil is not so useful for health.

Even so-called, fish oil can increase the risk of stroke. The following presentation from a preventive cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, Luke Laffin, MD, would prove that conclusion. Facts about fish oil supplements Omega-3 fatty acids found from some fish such as salmon, herring, bluefin tuna, and mackerel cannot be formed by the human body, so their consumption is needed.

Facts about Fish Oil Supplements

Omega-3 fatty acids found from some fish such as salmon, herring, bluefin tuna, and mackerel cannot be formed by the human body, so their consumption is needed.

Laffin says consuming one gram of omega-3 per day can bring the following benefits: Lower triglyceride levels. Lowers blood pressure. Reduces the risk of blood clots. Prevents the formation of plaque on the arteries. Helps reduce inflammation in the body. Over-the-counter (OTC) fish oil supplements contain two different omega-3 fatty acids: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in low doses (about one gram). While the fish oil pills prescribed by the doctor contain about 4 grams of pure DHA/EPA or EPA combos.

Nevertheless, there is no evidence OTC fish oil supplements are beneficial for the body. “We know that people who consume high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids by eating fish will have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.” “However, there are no studies that prove that over-the-counter fish oil provides the same benefits,” Laffin said.

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He also added that although there are several large studies conducted by reputable organizations, there is still no difference in the reduced risk of cardiovascular disease as an effect of fish oil consumption.

Negative effects of prescribed fish oil 

The prescribed fish oil still invites controversy. The reason, Laffin said, is that there are many cardiologists who state that the prescribed fish oil does not have a good effect on the body.

This is also evidenced by a large study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The study found that people who took fish oil pills containing pure EPA had a 25 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease compared to people who took placebo drugs (empty drugs).

However, the placebo is not entirely a placebo, but rather a mineral oil that can result in some negative impacts on the heart. Among other things, it increases the risk of inflammation. For this reason, fish oil pills are seen as better.

Furthermore, in 2021 a study found, fish oil at high doses has no effect on reducing the risk of heart attack.

The placebo in this study is corn oil, which tends to be more neutral than mineral oil. The results also found that fish oil could not reduce the following risks:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Death

The study ended early when the researchers found, fish oil did not show any benefit, and was even shown to increase the likelihood of atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation is a form of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) that can cause a stroke.

 

Laffin added that those at high risk for heart disease don’t have many good treatment options other than statins. Thus, in some cases, the benefits of pure EPA fish oil can outweigh the potential risks, so it can be provided.

Fish oil side effects

Apart from the problems above, taking OTC supplements is actually not far from various risks and side effects. Moreover, according to Laffin, some fish oil was found to contain mercury.

Then, even OTC supplements that are proven safe can cause the following side effects:

  • The “fishy” aftertaste is like causing burps with a fishy “flavor”.
  • Makes breath smelly
  • Makes bloating and stomach ache.

Meanwhile, fish oil prescribed at higher doses can pose the following risks:

  • Atrial fibrillation

Prescription fish oil can put you at risk of atrial fibrillation, -as it was called at the start-an irregular heart rhythm that can lead to stroke.

  • Bleeding

Fish oil can also increase the risk of bleeding. So, if you are at high risk of developing heart disease, you should first talk to your doctor if you want to look for supplements to reduce your risk. Then if you want to get omega-3 fatty acids, you should just eat real salmon for dinner.

Newbie Asked on January 15, 2023 in Health.
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