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How does omega-3 affect cholesterol levels?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

While many people know about the importance of taking an omega-3 supplement, not everyone realizes that DHA omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are the most powerful when it comes to lowering cholesterol, preventing new plaques from forming, and reducing triglyceride levels. Make sure your omega-3 supplement is labeled DHA omega-3 supplement. Take 600 mg once a day, and store it in the fridge to make it last longer.

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com.

A particular type of omega-3 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), found in coldwater fish such as salmon and trout, helps raise HDL (good) cholesterol. (DHA also protects brain and eye health and helps with weight control.) To ensure you get ample DHA, it's recommended to take a daily 900 mg algae-based omega-3 supplement.

Dr. Ozgen Dogan
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Omega-3 is a fatty acid found in coldwater fish, vegetables like broccoli and brussel sprouts, flaxseeds and olive and nut oils. It is especially high in fatty coldwater fish like salmon, tuna and halibut. Four grams of omega-3 a day increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) by 3 percent and reduces triglycerides by 25-40 percent. Although it's not known exactly how, omega-3 most likely accelerates the cleansing of triglycerides from the blood. If your triglyceride level is elevated, omega-3 is a good option. Taking omega-3 with the statin group of cholesterol medications reduces the body's C-reactive protein (CRP) by 48 percent. High levels of this protein indicate inflammation, a cause of the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries. Omega-3 has been shown to significantly reduce the small, dense low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which causes the most damage to our veins. And lastly, according to an Italian study, omega-3 reduces the risk of sudden death within the three-month period following a heart attack by 42 percent.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.