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The Effects of Fish Oil on Cholesterol Control

author image Crystal Welch
Crystal Welch has a 30-year writing history. Her more than 2,000 published works have been included in the health and fitness-related Wellness Directory, Earthdance Press and Higher Source. She is an award-winning writer who teaches whole foods cooking and has written a cookbook series. She operates an HON-code-certified health-related blog with more than 95,000 readers. Welch has a B.B.A. from Eastern Michigan University.
The Effects of Fish Oil on Cholesterol Control
A container of fish oil pills. Photo Credit: PeoGeo/iStock/Getty Images

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating at least two 3-ounce servings of fish weekly. Fish contain the heart-healthy ingredient omega-3 fatty acids. If you do not like fish, however, you can satisfy this nutritional recommendation by taking a fish oil supplement to receive the cardiovascular benefits associated with eating fish. Even though you will not receive all the nutrients as fish, you can receive benefits.

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Control Your Harmful Cholesterol

Taking fish oil supplements on a daily basis have been shown to lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels, according to the Mayo Clinic. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can help to remove harmful plaque from your arterial walls and flush it into your intestinal tract for removal from your body. This can help you control your cholesterol level by decreasing your bad cholesterol count. Controlling your blood cholesterol by consuming fish oil can also help you decrease your risk of sudden death from a heart attack, according to the AHA.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that lowering your harmful cholesterol level can also help you reduce your blood pressure (hypertension) level. Hypertension is a leading risk factor for the development of heart disease.

The AHA says that our overall cholesterol count will be lowered by consuming fish oil. This can provide a variety of health benefits ranging from increased cardiovascular health to a decreased risk of developing a variety of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and some forms of cancer.

Assists in Arterial Health

Another result of controlling your cholesterol through fish oil involves the health of your arteries and blood pathways. According to the AHA, controlling your cholesterol can assist in keeping your arteries operating as intended. Controlling your cholesterol with fish oil will help keep your blood pathways (such as arteries) clean of toxins and free from cholesterol congestion. This increases your arteries elasticity, making it easier for blood to flow through them. The more cholesterol you have in your arteries, the more restricted and rigid the arteries become. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil helps in this area.

Slows Plaque Formation

According to the AHA, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can help reduce the growth rate at which harmful cholesterol plaque forms on your arterial walls. By reducing the rate of cholesterol formation in your bloodstream, you are decreasing the level of LDL found in your body at any set point in time. Slowing your plaque formation, the AHA says, helps to “improve heart health and prevent blood clots”.

Increase Beneficial Cholesterol

Eating fish oil that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, a form of polyunsaturated fat, can help protect your cardiovascular system states the Mayo Clinic and the USDA. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil “appear to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease” claims the Mayo Clinic. Polyunsaturated fats are considered heart healthy fats since they can lower your harmful cholesterol while increasing your beneficial cholesterol.

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