If you're supposed to eat more fish to help your heart, but you're not a big fin fan, there's another way to get your fill - by taking fish oil supplements. But which fish and which pills? Dr. Bruce Hensel had answers and advice
"Not all fish or all supplements are created equal; and one study says fish oil may be unhealthy for some people," Dr. Hensel reported.
More people are reeling in fish as part of a healthy diet, and there's a good reason. Studies say, fatty acids in fish are good for us.
"Everyone can really benefit, it appears, from fish oil, as it will reduce, you know, the risk of heart disease and many other things," Dr. Tod Cooperman said.
Eating fish twice a week is one way to get omega-3 fatty acids. Another way a fish oil supplement, but, "you really need to be educated before you go in to buy these products. You need to know what you're looking for," Cooperman said.
Faced with a shelf-full of options, a company that may make or study the pills says start by looking for EPA and DHA, the two most important omega-3 fatty acids.
When it comes to "how much," there's currently no government recommendation, but there are general suggestions.
"Around 500 (mgs) A day of a combination of epa and dha, getting about 200 milligrams of each," Cooperman suggested.
Recent research has showed that most labels list the correct amount. Another plus? The pills don't contain toxins that may be found in some fish.
"In our tests of over fifty different fish oil products, none were contaminated with PCB's, mercury or lead," Cooperman said.
And if cost is making you shy away from the "catch of the day," the supplements can be budget-savvy. You can get a full month's supply of fish oil supplements for less than the cost of, say, one pound of fish.
Dr. Hensel cautioned,however, that fish oil may not be recommended for some people with heart rhythm problems
"If you do use tablets and fishy-tasting burps have turned you off of fish oil supplements buy enteric-coated capsules, and then refrigerate before taking them," Dr. Hensel reported.
Omega-3 fatty acids can't be made by the body and must be obtained through food sources.
The American Heart Association currently recommends that healthy american adults eat fish at least twice a week.
Americans spent $489 million on fish oil supplements in 2006.
Consumerlab.com recently analyzed 50 different supplements, foods and beverages with omega-3 fatty acids for safety and concentration.
For more details, refer to our comprehensive research summary.
For information about the study, go to http://www.Consumerlab.Com