It’s been approximately 16 months since I last had my blood tested and I just got my test results back today.
Everything checks out A-ok. Last time my HDL numbers were a little low, so I took a fish oil supplement which brought my HDL up nicely into a cardio protective range.
If I didn’t get my blood tested last year I wouldn’t have known that my HDL was low. I didn’t make any big dietary or lifestyle change, I simply added some fish oil and continued doing whatever else I was doing from an exercise and diet standpoint.
The point is that you’ve got to know where you are in order to know what you need to do (if anything).
For me the only thing that needed attention was HDL. The solution was quite simple as there is good research to show that taking a fish oil supplement that is high in EPA and DHA can have a potent effect on raising HDL. So I took the simplest approach and added fish oil. The specific brand I used was from BlueStarNutraceuticals. I am biased towards their brand because I helped them develop it, but I also trust them because I know the quality of the ingredients.
I’m sure there are plenty of other good fish oil supplements on the market. And if you’re going to take one make sure it’s got the highest level of EPA and DHA possible (these are the two essential fatty acids that we take fish oil for in the first place).
With that said, you probably want to get your blood tested first to know if you even need a fish oil supplement in the first place. There are other reasons to take fish oil besides low HDL. It can improve dry eye syndrome, it can help with some skin conditions as well as joint problems.
The point is to do some homework on whatever your symptoms are and why you think that a fish oil supplement might be right for you. Then if possible test whatever it is that you want to change before you take the fish oil, and test it again a few months later. This is the only way to know if it’s working.
For me the test was easy and the proof that it was working was pretty obvious as I had a defined number to look at.
For things like joint pain, inflammation, or dry eyes it’s going to be a bit more subtle and you’ll have to keep a journal of how you feel on a daily and weekly basis specifically about the given condition. Looking back through your journal will be the only way to notice if things are improving because these changes happen slowly and gradually.
If you start using fish oil and you think things are improving but your not sure, the only way to get a definitive answer is to stop the fish oil and see if your symptoms come back. It a minor inconvenience but this off-on-off approach is the only way to know for sure if it’s doing what you want it to do.
Better to know than to just be guessing.
P.S. If you want to check out the fish oil I used you can see it here > Omega Blue