[Paleopsych] NYT: Q & A: Fish Oil Capsules
checker at panix.com
Tue Apr 19 13:17:30 UTC 2005
Q & A: Fish Oil Capsules
By C. CLAIBORNE RAY
Q. Are fish oil supplements a reliable source of omega-3 fatty acids?
If one capsule is beneficial, are two twice as good?
A. A single 1,000-milligram capsule of these supplements offers about
the same amount of two valuable fatty acids as four ounces of salmon,
and in about the same ratio, said Dr. Sheldon S. Hendler, co-editor of
the PDR for Nutritional Supplements, the standard reference in the
field. He suggested that one was about the right dose for most people
seeking health benefits.
The Italian Gissi-Prevention study, the strongest study of the two
fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid
(DHA), indicated that about one gram of a combination of the two
prevented second heart attacks in men who had already had them,
suggesting that the dosage is enough for prevention purposes in the
general population, Dr. Hendler said.
In September 2004, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it
would allow a qualified health claim for omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty
acids, saying there is suggestive evidence that increased intakes may
lower the risk of coronary heart disease.
The agency recommends consuming no more than three grams daily, with
no more than two grams from supplements. More than three grams may
lead to excessive bleeding in some.
The substances are found naturally in fish oils, particularly those
from cold water fish, including salmon, tuna, herring and mackerel.
Taking more than suggested may be considered in certain health
situations, Dr. Hendler said, but only with a doctor's advice and
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