Cholesterol Home > Fish Oil to Increase HDL

Using fish oil to increase HDL levels has not been proven effective. However, two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil have been shown to lower blood pressure and decrease triglyceride levels. Lifestyle changes (such as losing weight or quitting smoking) are better places to start rather than taking fish oil to increase HDL.

Using Fish Oil to Increase HDL: An Overview

Fish oil comes from the tissues of fatty fish, such as:
 
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Lake trout
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel.
     
Fish oil contains two omega-3 fatty acids -- eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (EPA and DHA). These omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have several health benefits, including:
 
Because of these benefits, foods with omega-3 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acid supplements, such as fish oil supplements, can have labels that state their ability to reduce heart disease and the risk of sudden death.
 
Despite all of the benefits of fish oil, one thing that fish oil does not do is increase HDL (good cholesterol). It also does not appear to lower LDL (bad cholesterol). Other natural ways of raising HDL include:
 
  • Exercising
  • Losing weight (if you are overweight)
  • Quitting smoking, if you smoke
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation.
     
(Click Raising HDL for more information on how to raise HDL levels.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
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