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How do you get health benefits from fish oil?

A:

Quick Answer

Patients can take 1 to 4 grams of fish oil per day to lower triglyceride levels and reduce high blood pressure, according to WebMD. Fish oil can be obtained either from fish or from fish oil supplements. Tuna, salmon and trout are good choices.

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Full Answer

Fish oil is helpful for a wide array of medical conditions related to the heart and circulatory system, explains WebMD. Although best known for its ability to prevent heart disease and stroke, fish oil may also help treat depression, psychosis and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Some people also take fish oil to fight glaucoma, diabetes, osteoporosis or psoriasis. Many of the benefits of fish oil come from its high omega-3 fatty acid content. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce pain and swelling; they also keep the blood from clotting too easily.

Fish oil can cause belching and heartburn in some patients, according to WebMD. To avoid these symptoms, patients are advised to take their fish oil supplements with meals, or to freeze them prior to use. Some fish, such as king mackerel and farm-raised salmon, may be contaminated with toxins such as mercury. To avoid these toxins, patients who take large amounts of fish oil are advised to take fish oil supplements rather than eat large quantities of fish, since fish oil supplements usually do not contain these toxins.

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