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Is Fish Oil good for you?

Updated on May 15, 2011

It is a well- known fact that fats are not good for our body and that consuming large amounts of saturated fats can cause our cholesterol  levels to increase.  Hence Fish Oil is pure fat and therefore should be bad for you, right?

Our mothers used to make sure we ate Fish Oil when we were little and would always advocate that it will make us healthier.  In the early 1970’s evidences gathered by researchers actually proved that our mothers were right and that fish is really good for us.  Studies were made on the Eskimos who ate a lot of fat in the form of whale, fish and seal meat and yet out of a total of 1800 Eskimos studied, only 3 of them experienced heart attacks within a range of twenty years.  In contrast, during the same twenty years period, among 1800 Americans, there were 30 times as many heart attacks.

Studies also noted that when some of the Eskimos migrated to Denmark and switched to the Western diet, they start suffering from heart attacks and clogged arteries with an increasing rate.  This concluded that something in the Eskimo diet are protecting their hearts even with the high amount of fat that they had been consuming.

Eventually it was discovered that that special something that was protecting the Eskimos and preventing them from heart attacks is actually a fat or oil that is within the fish that they consumed.  To be more specific, this was a type of fat that today is well-known as omega-3 fatty acids.  These fatty acids helps to:

  • Thin the blood.  When blood is thinner it will flow more smoothly through the arteries and the chances of it forming blood clots are lower.  Hence the chances of these blood clots getting lodge in the tiny coronary arteries and thus triggering a heart attack are very much reduced.
  • Reduce total cholesterol
  • Lower  triglyceride
  • Lower LDL which is the bad cholesterol that helps to deposits fat along the artery walls and helping to clog up our arteries.

Not all fat is the same

Generally consuming too much fat is very unhealthy however not all fat is the same.  The fat consumed by Eskimos are very high in omega-3 fatty acids while the fat consumed by the Western people are full of omega-6 fatty acids.  So here we have a very interesting situation where one type of fat is able to help protect  you from the dangers of the other fats.

A good source of omega-3 fatty acids comes from fish as evident in the Eskimo diet.  Omega-3 fatty acids not only help to protect against heart disease, it is also a good protection against:

  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • headaches
  • some autoimmune diseases

It is very common to find most people suffering from high cholesterol levels especially for those in the age group of 40s to 50s onwards.   One of the major risk factor of getting coronary artery disease is an elevated cholesterol.  Blood clots in brain arteries can also trigger a stroke or deafness in the ear.  So take heed of these facts and take care of your health.  Let us not forget the valuable lessons learned from the Eskimos.  Take heed of the benefits of Fish Oil.

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