Are fish oil supplements just as good as eating fish?
Probably not, especially if the supplements are in the “ethyl ester” form.
A recent study examined how at the molecular level, omega-3 fat and DHA lower blood pressure. The scientists looked at both the natural food “triglyceride” form and the ethyl ester supplement form.
They found that the natural form of DHA lowered blood pressure by triggering relaxation in the muscles of the artery walls. To their surprise, however, the supplement ethyl ester form of DHA had no beneficial effect on lowering blood pressure and even worse, actually interfered with the natural DHA’s beneficial effects.
Unfortunately, most fish oil supplements are in the ethyl ester form. Be sure to look carefully at the fine print on the label to determine whether the fish oil supplement is in the natural “triglyceride” form or the “ethyl ester” form.
One brand in the natural form is Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega.
In my view, however, the best choice is to get your vital omega-3 fats from oily fish like wild salmon and to only use fish oil supplements if you cannot or do not eat fish.
The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish oil are not made by the body and must be consumed in the diet. The fatty acids work to lower the body’s production of triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Consumption of fatty fish or fish oil supplements may have other health benefits as well including reduced joint inflammation and a reduced risk of age-related mental issues.
If you’ve shopped for fish oil supplements, you may have seen a product called “krill oil” on store shelves.
Whereas most fish oil supplements are made from fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, and anchovies, krill oil is made from krill — tiny, shrimp-like crustaceans found in the sea.
Some studies have found that krill oil supplements may do a better job of getting the working fatty acids, EPA and DHA, into the cells.
Krill oil also contains more EPA than fish oil and has other beneficial substances, including phospholipids that help brain cell function, and antioxidants that fight off free radicals in the body.
Krill oil supplements have still other benefits for menstruating women. A 2003 study published in the journal “Alternative Medicine Review” found that krill oil supplements were effective in reducing menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome symptoms.
One word of caution if you take or are planning to take krill oil or any form of fish oil supplement. If you are on prescription medication, let your doctor know about the fish oil supplements as these may interact with certain drugs such as blood thinners.
Are fish oil supplements just as good as eating fish?
Compromise is not that simple
It’s tempting for a casual onlooker to wonder why the Democratic House and Republican Senate can’t make what on the surface looks like the obvious compromise on pension reform.
The Senate passed a measure based on recommendations of a task force to move new employees into a hybrid, cash-balance plan but maintain existing defined benefits for current employees and retirees.
Frankfort plays ping-pong with public pension transparency
Legislation that would make the Kentucky Retirement Systems transparent for those paying its bills has danced into the spotlight during the 2014 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
Passage of transparency bills filed by Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Latonia, and Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington, would make the “names, status, projected or actual benefit payments” subject to our commonwealth’s superlative Open Records Act.
The case of the ghostly neighbor
Wilbur lived in a world of fears. Everything frightened him. The full extent of his courage was to admit that he had none.
Noises in the middle of the night, his own shadow creeping up on him and, most of all, black cats scared the wits out of him.
So, picture his chagrin, one day, when he came home from vacation only to discover that a mausoleum had been erected on property adjacent to his home.
Provisional concealed-carry law passes Senate unanimously
Things are staying busy in Frankfort. Many bills are making their way onto the Senate floor from various committees. This past week several important pieces of legislation were debated and passed.
I am particularly proud of the success we had in advocating for Kentuckians’ Second Amendment rights.
I introduced Senate Bill 106 to allow anyone who has been granted an emergency protective or domestic violence order to receive a provisional CCDW permit from the Kentucky State Police in one business day. In some of these cases, victims need this type of protection as quickly as possible.
50 years makes a world of difference
I wasn’t in Frankfort on March 5, 1964, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and Jackie Robinson led 10,000 on a march to the state Capitol in support of a public accommodations law.
But a few months later, I stood in front of the “Music Hall,” site of the Glasgow Junior High School located on a street named Liberty, and watched black kids “walk up the hill” of College Street on the first day of integrated schools in Glasgow.
Coal has kept Kentuckians warm this winter
This winter, temperatures across the country dipped to historic lows. Here in our home state of Kentucky, the near-arctic climate caused increased power demand which resulted in an incredible strain on the electric grid and rising energy costs.
Protecting citizens’ data is a no-brainer
Target Corp. is learning the hard way: The price is steep for retailers who don’t protect customers’ sensitive financial information.
Target’s profits fell a whopping 50 percent during its fourth quarter of 2013 as the result of a massive security breach involving as many as 110 million of its customers’ credit- and debit-card accounts, which began the day before Thanksgiving and extended throughout much of the holiday shopping season.
Making plans for spring planting
My brother Keith (Keeter) probably planted peas on one of those warm days last week, and I would not be at all surprised to find out that brother Steve did likewise to try to be the first two fellows in Letcher County to actually be digging the soil in their 2014 gardens.
Keeter’s father-in-law, the late Dock Mitchell, used to get my brother to drive him a 50-mile round trip to get pea seeds and potting soil for early February planting. Dock raised mammoth melting sugar snow peas and sugar snaps around every fence on the place.
Cynicism, optimism both on display in Frankfort
Those who spend little time in Kentucky’s Capitol and who read columns by cynics who cover it should be forgiven their disillusionment about how the people’s business is conducted.
Even Scrooge would enjoy library mystery
Saturday afternoons and evenings are usually down time for Loretta and me.
We simply don’t get out much after we’ve used up the movie gift certificates the kids gave us for Christmas. That means we mostly go to the movies to avoid guilt trips because our kids do work hard for their money.
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