(High triglycerides / Hypertriglyceridemia)
effectiveness of fish oil in lowering high triglyceride levels is fully
established in many research studies. Triglyceride levels can be
lowered by as much as 50% when taking omega-3 fatty acids from
supplements or dietary sources.
It is also proven to lower low density
lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol and increase high density
lipoprotein (HDL or "good”) cholesterol. If you have high cholesterol,
it would be best for you to consider taking omega 3 fatty acids either
as a pill form or from dietary sources.
For enhanced cholesterol
lowering benefits, omega-3 fatty acids may be combined with niacin.
recent study showed that lifestyle changes and taking omega-3 fatty
acids are as
effective in lowering LDL as the prescription cholesterol-lowering drug
Disease / Coronary Arteries Disease (CAD) / Heart Attack
(Myocardial Infarction or MI)
only does, omega 3 fatty acids work to lower cholesterol, research
studies show that it also prevent blood clots from forming leading to
atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and stroke.
people who have suffered from a previous heart attack or stroke,
research shows that taking omega-3 fatty acids reduces the risk of
having another one. One study published in July 2008 showed that higher
blood levels of EPA and DHA leads to a lower risk of heart attack in
A research study published by D. Mozaffarian
omega-3 fatty acids for preventing heart disease said "The strength and
consistency of the evidence, and the magnitude of this effect are
||Heart Failure / Sudden Death from
If you are suffering from heart failure, you must
take omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association makes the
"We recommend eating fish (particularly fatty
fish) at least two times a week. Fish is a good source of protein and
doesn’t have the high saturated fat that fatty meat products do. Fatty
fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and
salmon are high in two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic
acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)."
Scientists believe that taking omega-3 fatty acid is effective in preventing sudden death from
heart failure because it can prevent arrhythmias (irregular heart
Omega 3 fatty acids are also suspected to
and other conditions that can cause sudden death. Prescription
cholesterol lowering medications don't work as well as omega 3 fatty
acids in preventing heart failure (but they should be used for those with
This latest evidence comes from a very high
quality randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (the gold
standard for research study design) published August 2008 in the (very
highly respected) research journal Lancet.
The study was conducted in
326 cardiology and 31 internal medicine centers in Italy involving 6,975
patients for 3.9 years. The study used 1 gram daily of the omega 3
omega-3 fatty acids seem to reduce the risk of stroke by just under
30%. As well, research shows that people with a high blood levels of
omega-3 fatty acids have a reduced risk of stroke.
Avoid very high doses
of dietary fish (greater than 46 grams/day) as some studies show that
it actually increases the risk of stroke. One or two servings of fish
weekly would be best.
Fibrillation / Arrhythmias
There are now considerable evidences from clinical trials that
omega-3 fatty acids of fish oil could prevent fatal arrhythmias
(irregular heart beats).
If you have or are at
risk of developing heart disease, it is essential that you take
omega-3 fatty acids.
Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Studies show that taking 3 or more grams of omega 3 fatty acids reduces
blood pressure significantly.
Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) / (ADD)
Studies in humans and animals show that lower levels of omega 3 fatty
acids is related to learning and behavioral problems.
In animals, lower
levels of omega 3 fatty acids resulted in lower levels of certain
neurotransmitters (chemicals needed to allow brain cells to talk to
Clinical studies done in children showed that taking omega
3 fatty acids resulted in significant improvements in their spelling,
reading and behaviour.
See Omega 3 for ADHD for more information.
/ Menstrual Pain & Cramps
Omega-3 fatty acids help to decrease
the pain and the need to take anti-inflammatory drugs for women and
young teenagers suffering from menstrual pain and cramps.
In one research
study of 200 women, those take more omega-3 fatty acids from
diet reported milder symptoms of hot flashes and sweating during
Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Omega-3 fatty acids from supplements or dietary sources reduces the
risk of getting macular degeneration leading to loss of vision.
One study showed that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish
lowered the risk of getting complicated AMD by 30% over a 12 year
Several past studies showed that eating oily fish at least once per
week reduced the risk of AMD.
Omega-3 fatty acids increases bone density. This reduces the
risk of bone and hip fractures. Studies in humans
show that taking omega 3 fatty acids reduces bone loss over a 3 year
Depression & Anxiety Disorders
fatty acids are an important part of nerve cells. Population
studies show that eating fish lowers the risk of depression and
suicide. Also depression is less in countries with a higher dietary
intake of fish.
One study clearly showed that omega-3 fatty acids
helped with depression in women during pregnancy. As well, omega-3
fatty acids seem to improve the benefits of prescription
Other studies show that it can help to reduce anxiety and stress.
Arthritis (RA / Rheumatism)
Omega-3 fatty acids seem to help
significantly in reducing joint pain, inflammation, morning stiffness and
range of movement. This means that you might be able to reduce the dose of your
prescription arthritis medications.
In children omega-3 fatty acid supplements seem to improve their
asthma symptoms. Experts believe that omega-3 fatty acids reduce
inflammation that causes asthma.
Women who eat fish twice
weekly have a reduced risk of developing endometrial cancer.
Some evidence shows that omega-3 fatty acids seem to reduce
the risk of colon cancer. In one clinical study, omega-3 fatty
acids seem to slow down the growth of colon cancer in its early stages.
Several other studies show that the amount of omega 3 fatty acids in your
body is related to your risk of getting colon cancer; those
with higher amounts of it seem to have a lower risk of colon cancer.
Nervosa / Eating Disorder
with an eating disorders seem to have lower levels of essential fatty
acids such as omega-3's. Experts suggest eating fish or taking omega 3
fatty acids supplements to avoid deficiencies.
a research study, omega-3 fatty acids did not show any benefit in
children with severe autism. We will need more study to see if it
benefits children with mild to moderate autism.
Birth Weight Infants
Pregnant women with low omega-3 fatty acids to to have babies of a lower birth weight.
Loss / Obesity
who are overweight are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes (non
insulin dependent diabetes) and high cholesterol.
Studies show that
these people will get a better control of their diabetes and cholesterol
when they combine exercise with a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
/ Joint Pain
Omega-3 fatty acids seems to help treat
rheumatoid arthritis. It also helps with osteoarthritis. There is evidence that omega-3 fatty
acids might prevent cartilage damage in the joints.
fatty acids when taking with prescription medications seems to benefit
the depression part of bipolar disorder. However, it does not seem to
benefit the manic part of the bipolar disorder.
Studies seem to show that women who get omega 3 fatty acids from dietary
sources are less likely to get and die from breast cancer.
animal studies, omega 3 fatty acids seem to slow down the growth of
prostate cancer cells. The fish oil health benefits in prostate cancer prevention will need to be verified with more studies.
Bowel Disease (IBD) / Crohn's Disease / Ulcerative Colitis
fatty acids, when combined with prescription medications seem to
decrease the symptoms of IBD.
However, there are other studies that
show that it is no more effective than taking the prescription
medications alone. Another study shows that by taking omega-3 fatty
acids, the dosage of steroid medication can be reduced.
small study in humans seems to show that omega-3 fatty acids
along with conventional prescription medications helped with psoriasis.
/ Other Skin Conditions
small study in humans showed that omega 3 fatty acids reduced a person's
skin sensitivity to sunlight exposure.
Many physicians believe that
taking omega 3 fatty acids supplement would help with treating acne.
- Enhances Insulin
Omega-3 supplements do not change blood
sugar levels. However, people with diabetes
are at risk of developing heart disease so omega-3 supplements are
highly recommended for the other health benefits.
A recent study in July 2008
showed that omega-3 fatty acids improves the insulin response to sugar
in the blood (and lowers blood pressure significantly).
starts to become less effective at lowering blood sugar (called insulin
resistance), this is the start towards the path of developing diabetes.
|Helpful|| Migraine Headaches|
Some research studies show that taking Omega-3 supplements modestly reduce
the number and severity of migraine headaches.
Fish Oil Health Benefits and Traditional UsesSee this list for all the other suggested fish oil health benefits in treating other health conditions..