Benefits of Omega 3 fish oil supplements outweigh risks

By on June 11, 2010

by Maggie Brundige
Kaneland Krier Reporter

Eating fish two times a week is recommended by the American Heart Association to maintain a healthy diet, but new Omega 3 fish oil pills have all the benefits without the fishy taste.

Omega 3 pills are an all-natural, over-the-counter supplement taken to maintain a lower cholesterol and reduce the chances of getting heart disease. Taking the pills as a teen will lower chances of having health problems as an adult.

Studies done by the Mayo Clinic have shown that people who had taken Omega 3 pills as a teen lived longer and healthier lives, with fewer having heart attacks or strokes.

“They help to prevent heart disease, and reduce the chances of having a high blood pressure and cholesterol,” school nurse Barb Giese said.

Many cases of cardiovascular diseases reported to the Mayo Clinic have shown a lower death rate due to the use of Omega 3 pills. Since the pills are an all-natural supplement made from fish oil, they are perfectly safe to start taking as a teenager to protect teens from future health problems. Many teens have started taking Omega 3 pills if diabetes or cardiovascular diseases are common in their families.

“I have been taking them every morning at breakfast for two years now,” sophomore Mike Panagouleous said.

Omega 3 pills have successfully helped high school athletes keep their athletically induced asthma under control.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “maintaining your heart rate will help athletes to keep a normal breathing pattern. Induced exercise is very strenuous on a young athlete’s body and heart. Omega 3 pills will help young athletes to keep their bodies functioning properly.”

Yet Kaneland High School health teacher Cindy Miller warns that all pills run some risk of negative side effects.

Some Omega 3 pills were recently recalled when the man-made toxin polychlorinated biphenyl was discovered in them. In industrial factories, molecules of PB had gotten into the Omega 3 pills. Many users of the pill had experienced minor internal bleeding, dry, itchy skin and a less consistent heart rate.

Due to the recall, all states are required to warn people of the risks.

Despite the mishap in production of the supplements, they are still one of the most highly recommended pills to keep the body healthy.

“Omega 3 pills will do more help for teens than they will harm,” the Mayo Clinic said.

“I would do some kind of research on any pill before I would prescribe to it,” Miller said.