[Paleopsych] NYT: Q & A: Fish Oil Capsules

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Tue Apr 19 13:17:30 UTC 2005

Q & A: Fish Oil Capsules


    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


    1. http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=C.%20CLAIBORNE%20RAY&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=C.%20CLAIBORNE%20RAY&inline=nyt-per

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