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Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Nutrition

Heart Health: Fish Oil (592)

Heart Health: Fish Oil (592) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Nutrition

592





Fish Oil

What is it?
Fish oil is a healthy source of fat (omega-3 fatty acids). In high doses, fish oil can lower
levels of triglycerides and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. High levels of
triglycerides can increase your risk of heart disease. Triglycerides are a type of fat made
by the body from extra calories and sugars in food. They are also found in extra body fat.

Why do I need fish oil supplements?
Your doctor may have told you that you should take fish oil because you have:
ξ High triglycerides
ξ Low HDL (good) cholesterol
ξ High blood pressure
ξ Irregular heartbeat
ξ Depression

When Fish oil is taken daily it can:
ξ Lower triglyceride levels
ξ Increase good (HDL) cholesterol levels
ξ Decrease the stickiness of blood cells (platelets)

Is fish oil safe?
Fish oil supplements are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use in children and
adults. All contaminants and mercury are removed.

Cod liver oil is not recommended as it is lower in omega-3 fatty acids. Large doses may
provide too much vitamin A. Flaxseed oil and other sources of ALA (alpha-linolenic
acid) may not be used.

Stop fish oil for one week before surgeries. Discuss this with your surgeon.
Some types of fish may be contaminated with mercury and PCBs (polychlorinated
biphenyl). When fish oil supplements are made, these are removed. Shark, king
mackerel, and farm-raised salmon supplements may be contaminated.

Possible Interactions with other medicines
ξ Birth control pills
ξ Blood pressure medicines
ξ Orlistat
ξ Blood thinners

Special precautions with these conditions
ξ Liver disease
ξ Fish or seafood allergy
ξ Bipolar disorder
ξ Depression
ξ Diabetes
ξ High blood pressure
ξ Conditions with low immune systems
ξ Implanted defibrillator
ξ Bleeding disorders
ξ Familial adenomatous polyposis

How do I take fish oil:
1. Find the right dose to take from your healthcare provider.

2. Look at the “Serving Size” of the Supplement Facts.

3. Add the EPA + DHA. In the example, 1 teaspoon equals 1300mg (800mg EPA +
500mg DHA).

4. Take fish oil with or without meals. Choose a time that is easy for you to
remember every day.

Note: 1 teaspoon (tsp.) equals 5 mL. and 1 Tablespoon (Tbsp.) equals 15 mL.

To decrease “fish burps” try to:
ξ Store the fish oil in the refrigerator
ξ Buy a Burpless brand
ξ Swallow it cold
ξ Take it at night

Example Fish Oil Label

Fish Oil (Omega-3 Fatty Acid) Supplement List

Product Type Location Strength
(EPA/DHA)
2,000mg
Dose/Day
(Cost/Month)
4,000mg
Dose/Day
Cost/Month)

Adult Barleans Omega-3



Liquid

Willy Street Co-op

Whole Foods

815/543

2 ½ tsp. ($32)

5 tsp. ($64)

Coromega Kids Omega-3
Squeeze


Liquid

Whole Foods

GNC

The Vitamin
Shoppe

350/230

3 Packet ($45)

6 Packet ($90)
Coromega Omega-3 Big Squeeze


Liquid

Whole Foods

GNC

The Vitamin
Shoppe

270/180

5 tsp. ($40)

10 tsp. ($80)



Product Type Location Strength
(EPA/DHA)
2,000mg
Dose/Day
(Cost/Month)
4,000mg
Dose/Day
Cost/Month)

GNC Triple Strength Fish
Oil


Liquid

GNC

582/388

2 tsp. ($53)

4 tsp. ($106)

Nature Made Ultra Fish Oil,
1400mg



Soft
Gel

Target

Woodman’s

683/252

2 caps ($16)

4 caps ($32)

Nature Made Pearls Fish Oil,
500mg


Soft
Gel Walgreens 275/225
12 Pearls
($46)
24 Pearls
($92)


Product Type Location Strength
(EPA/DHA)
2,000mg
Dose/Day
(Cost/Month)
4,000mg
Dose/Day
Cost/Month)

Nordic Naturals Omega-3
Liquid


Liquid

Whole Foods

Willy Street Co-op

The Vitamin Shoppe

750/550

1 ½ tsp. ($26)

3 tsp. ($52)

Spring Valley Triple
Strength Fish Oil, 1400mg

Soft
Gel Walmart 647/253 2 caps ($7) 4 caps ($14)

Carlson for Kids


Liquid CarlsonLabs.com 400/250 1 ½ tsp.
($32)
1 Tbsp.
($64)


Teach Back

What is the most important thing you learned from this handout? What changes will you
make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?


If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions please contact UW Health at one
of the phone numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at
www.uwhealth.org/nutrition



Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s
Hospital (AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500.

Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at:
(608) 287-2770

























Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call
if you have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with
your doctor. This is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical
condition. Because each person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on
your health care team when using this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©
10/2015 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Clinical
Nutrition Services Department and the Department of Nursing. HF#592