The benefits of fish oil supplements have been much discussed in the last few years. Although a few studies have disputed the benefits of fish oil, the American Heart Association have now countered those by publishing a review of the available data.

The researchers have concluded that there are at least five ways in which a diet high in the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA will protect our health:

1. Reduction of susceptibility to ventricular arrhythmia. These are irregular rhythms of the lower section of heart, which can cause blood to be pumped less effectively and can cause complications.

2. Decreasing platelet aggregation. This means that the DHA and EPA in fatty fish stop the blood from clumping together and therefore help prevent the blood clots that can cause strokes.

3. Reducing triglyceride levels. Lower triglycerides decrease our chances of getting heart disease. In fact, high triglycerides are one of the most dangerous risk factors for heart disease.

4. Lowering blood pressure. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can cause all types of health problems, such as kidney failure, aneurysms, stroke and heart attacks. DHA and EPA have been shown to lower blood pressure significantly.

5. Increasing the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a natural blood vessel relaxant. As our levels of nitric oxide increase, our blood vessels expand and become less prone to accumulating the damage that causes atherosclerosis.

Unfortunately, the average American only consumes between 100 mg and 200 mg of EPA and DHA, the polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fatty fish, and which are responsible for most of its health benefits, each day.

For these reasons, many doctors are recommending that Americans increase their daily consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, whether by eating more fresh, fatty fish or by taking fish oil capsules.

Personally, I take pharmaceutically pure, molecularly distilled fish oil capsules every day, because it's the only way to get enough omega-3's into my body at a reasonable cost and without ingesting all of the mercury that most of the fish that we can buy in supermarkets contains today.

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