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Should anyone take fish oil?

Harvard Medical School researchers have shown that it doesn’t substantially reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke or death from cardiovascular disease. So if you take a supplement should you stop? 

Delving a bit deeper into the Harvard stats, supplements did seem to reduce the risk of heart attacks in people who don’t eat much fish (i.e. less than one and a half serves a week).

The study leader’s advice was that if you’re taking a fish oil supplement there’s no reason to stop. Just don’t take megadoses. 

I’d add: stick to reliable brands because fish oil can go rancid. You want a quality product.

If you’re eating fish a couple of times a week though, you probably won’t benefit from a supplement. 

I’ve stopped taking fish oil this year, but each week I’ve eaten a couple of tins of sardines in lunches and had fresh fish for dinner once or twice a week. 

To keep a healthy balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fats, in addition to eating fish or taking a supplement, I’d avoid processed food, margarine and vegetable oils (including soy, safflower, sunflower and canola oils). 

Over the next six months the Harvard team will release their results on vitamin D and fish oil in relation to diabetes, brain function, autoimmune disease and depression. Stay tuned. 

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018 | Rhonda Anderson