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Fish Oil and Cholesterol: A Deep Dive into the Connection

How fish oil, which has omega-3 fats, may affect your health and cholesterol. A short guide:

1. Omega-3 Fats: Fish oil has two kinds of omega-3 fats: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These are important for good health and your body cannot make them³.

2. Effect on Cholesterol: Different studies have different results. Some studies say that fish oil can make triglycerides lower and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, higher⁴. But other studies say that fish oil can make low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, higher². One study said that while EPA did not change cholesterol levels, DHA made them higher².

3. Other Health Benefits: Besides cholesterol, fish oil is connected to several health benefits. It may reduce the risk of heart disease, slightly improve signs of rheumatoid arthritis, and help fetal growth during pregnancy².

4. Things to Think About: While fish oil supplements are usually safe, they can cause mild side effects, like a fishy taste, heartburn, nausea, or diarrhea³. High doses might make the risk of bleeding and maybe the risk of stroke higher³. It’s important to take fish oil supplements with a doctor’s advice³.

In summary, while fish oil may have some effect on cholesterol levels, the proof is not clear. It’s very important to talk to a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement plan, especially if you have high cholesterol.

(Note: This is a general guide and different people might need different things. Always talk to a healthcare professional for advice that is right for you.)

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