|Fish oil supplements are excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
According to the American Heart Association, these fatty acids can be effective in balancing good and bad fat and promoting cardiovascular health.
Fish oil supplements as well as diets rich in fatty fish can be effective in preventing cardiovascular problems.
For details please see Essential fatty acids - Omega-3 fatty acids.
Fish oil is good, BUT...what may go wrong?
- High or excessive calories intake for prolonged or over-consumption
- Some studies showed that fish oil may increase the level of low density lipoprotein (LDL) - a bad cholesterol and, however, may not increase the good cholesterol - high density lipoprotein (HDL)
- Contamination. Carcinogenic chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyl compounds (PCBs) and dioxin are reported to be found in some fish oil supplements.
When it comes to fish nutrients, we should not focus on fish oil only, see below on what fish peptides are and how they help.
Peptides are organic compounds and are defined as groups of amino acids connected in a defined order. Fish peptides have a variety of medicinal benefits and are used extensively in medical research1-3:
- Reduce vasoconstriction
- Reduce the thickness of inner walls of blood vessels (IMT - Intima-media thickness) that affects blood circulation
- Inhibit blood aggregation
How do fish peptides work?
Fish peptides inhibit ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme). This enzyme converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II, a compound that causes fluid retention and vasocontriction that lead to increased blood pressure. By inhibiting the formation of angiotensin II, fish peptides relax the arteries and reduce fluid volume, thereby improving circulation.
Human platelets are activated by a number of factors before they start clotting. Fish peptides inhibit platelet aggregation induced by these factors including thrombin, Platelet Activation Factor (PAF), P-selectins and fibrinogen. Reduced blood aggregation is important as it helps blood "runs" smoother i.e. improve circulation and prevent brain cells from shortage of oxygen.
Combining fish oil and fish peptides provides much greater cardio-protective advantages over pure fish oil, please click here to learn more.
- V. Praloran, Inhibitory effect of a fish peptide hydrolysate GABOLYSAT® PC 60 on platelet activation induced human thrombin: in vitro study. June 2006.
- M. Cloarec, P400 supplementation on metabolic syndrome risk factors. Summary of studies. Conducted by National Association of Medical Prevention, Paris, France; Tenon Hospita, Saint Antonie U teaching hospital, Pierre et Marie CURIE U, Paris, France. March 2007.
- M. Cloarec et al., Comparative study of the dietary supplment P400 on changes in carotid wall intima media thickness in a high cardiovascular risk population. From 1998 to 2001.