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Another reminder that less often beats more

In this case, that lesson comes from fish oils, a food source that nearly everyone agrees can offer substantial health benefits, especially against cardiovascular disease.

But there is fish oil, and there is fish oil, so although eating more fish – along with everything else in a fish that helps keep it together – is undoubtedly a good thing for most of us to do, there is a whole lot more controversy about trying to mimic that effect from the natural source via the route of fish oil supplements.

So many arguments can be brought up against the notion of getting any benefit from fish oils: that fish contain so many more nutrients than simple oils and it’s that balance between the oils and everything else that makes fish such a healthy food source, that eating more fish replaces less healthy foods that we might otherwise consume, that no one in creation really knows which oils exactly and how much of each of them anyone really needs, and on and on.

So it’s no surprise that in most studies fish oils don’t produce the same positive effect that we seem to see from eating the real thing.

Not to mention, of course, that there is probably an upper limit to the benefit of fish oils which may kick into a downside if too much of those supplements is consumed, such as this new report in the journal of European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy that concludes that omega-3 supplements (aka fish oil supplements) are associated with an increased likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation in people with abnormally high cholesterol levels.

And trust me, atrial fibrillation is not something you really wanna deal with if you can avoid it.

So by all means, eat more fish – yes, despite that doomy Netflix documentary – but don’t rely on fish oils to give you the same positive hit.