Saturday, June 8, 2024
HomeShould You Take Fish Oil If You Have High Cholesterol

Should You Take Fish Oil If You Have High Cholesterol

Fish Oil Vs Statins: What Keeps Cholesterol Down

How To Lower Cholesterol with Omega 3 Fish Oil – Nutrition Forest


High cholesterol may not always cause symptoms, but it requires treatment all the same. When it comes to controlling your cholesterol, statins are king.

Can fish oil work just as well to reduce your cholesterol? Read on to learn how it stacks up.

Though its found naturally in fish, fish oil is most often taken in supplement form.

In 2012,

I Have High Cholesterol Should I Take Fish Oil Pills

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.

May Boost Brain Function

The healthy fats in fish oil may also benefit your mind, especially as you age.

Researchers from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University studied several hundred older adults over a period of several years and had them complete neuropsychological tests and brain scans every six months.

Those who started the study with regular cognitive function and took a regular fish oil supplement showed lower rates of cognitive decline, according to the study results, published in the February 2015 issue of Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

It’s important to note, however, that the participants who began the study with a diagnosis of either mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease did not show improvement.

A July 2020 study in Neurology found that omega-3s are linked to significantly greater volumes of white matter and hippocampus and that omega-3s were tied to attenuating the effects of pollution on the brain in women ages 65 to 80 without dementia.

Related Reading

Don’t Miss: Is Mayo Bad For Cholesterol

Not Necessarily A Cure

Fish oil may not be a cardiovascular event cure-all, according to a study published in JAMA and recently presented at the American Heart Associations Scientific Sessions 2020. In the study, the researchers assessed omega-3 carboxylic acids or omega-3 CA , a medication that is derived from fish oil.

The STRENGTH trial, which began in 2014, encompassed data from 13,078 adults at 675 centers in 22 countries.

All of the patients were being treated with statins and had known heart, brain, or leg artery blockages. They were at a higher risk for heart disease due to factors such as smoking and diabetes. The subjects either took the omega-3 CA medication or a placebo. The placebo used was corn oil.

The team compared the rates of cardiovascular death, heart attack, stroke, need for stenting or bypass surgery, and hospitalization for unstable angina in all of the study participants.

The study found that a combination of eicosatetraenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid omega-3 fatty acids found in certain fishdid not lower major cardiac events in high-risk patients.

The researchers found that 1,580 patients experienced at least one cardiac event. There were not any significant differences in cardiac event risk between participants in one group versus the other. However, the researchers did find that people taking the omega-3 CA medication developed atrial fibrillation more frequently than those who took corn oil.

Fish Oil Research: Mixed Results

3 Herbal Treatments For High Blood Pressure  Natural Home ...

Other studies have also looked at fish oil and cardiovascular health. The evidence has been mixed, partly because researchers used different types and quantities of fish oils and different placebos.

  • The 2007 JELIS trial also evaluated the use of EPA and statins and found a reduction in non-fatal coronary events. Major coronary events were reduced slightly in those with a history of coronary artery disease. No placebo was used.
  • The 2019 VITAL study used supplements including vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids. It showed fish oil didnt lower the risk for major cardiac events.
  • The 2019 REDUCE-IT trial evaluated icosapent ethyl , a high-dose pure EPA . The study included people with heart disease or people who were taking a statin medication with raised triglyceride levels. People on the omega-3 supplement had a 25% lower incidence of heart disease and stroke, and a 20% reduction in death from heart disease.

Recommended Reading: Is Tuna Good For Cholesterol

What To Know About Taking A Highly Concentrated Epa Supplements For Your Lipids

Not everyone at risk for cardiovascular disease needs a fish oil supplement highly concentrated in EPA. As discussed above, both EPA and DHA combined have been shown to significantly benefit heart and vascular health. Plus, there are many additional ways to lower LDL naturally while still taking fish oil high in both EPA and DHA. But if youve been taking fish oil and have noticed a negative effect on your LDL, consider trying a high-EPA fish oil for your cholesterol and cardiovascular health.

Anyone who has spent time perusing the seemingly endless brands of fish oil in their local store already knows EPA and DHA amounts vary tremendously between products. Always look for the specific amounts of EPA and DHA listed in the ingredients section of the label.

If you decide to try a fish oil highly concentrated in EPA to improve your lipids without raising LDL, aim for a total daily dose of at least 1800 mg EPA, based on evidence from clinical studies. Many high quality fish oil companies now selling fish oil capsules with enhanced amounts of EPA.

Mozaffarian D, Wu JH. Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: effects on risk factors, molecular pathways, and clinical events. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011 Nov 8 58:2047-67.

Delgado-Lista J, Perez-Martinez P, Lopez-Miranda J, Perez-Jimenez F. Long chain omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: a systematic review. Br J Nutr. 2012 Jun 107 Suppl 2:S201-13.

May Improve Heart Health

Taking a fish oil supplement may help keep your ticker in tip-top shape, according to a body of research.

An August 2016 study in Circulation analyzed the effect that a daily dose of fish oil had on heart attack survivors over a six-month period. Researchers found that this treatment improved the function of the heart, reduced scarring in the undamaged tissue within the heart muscle and decreased biomarkers for inflammation.

Additionally, according to an in the same journal, adults with coronary heart disease who were prescribed a low-dose omega-3 fish oil supplement were 9 percent less likely to be hospitalized or die from the condition.

What’s more, a metaanalysis of 13 randomized controlled trials found that supplementing with seafood-based omega-3s is linked to a lower risk of having a heart attack or developing heart disease, per a September 2019 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association .

Supplementing with marine-based omega-3s was linked to lower triglycerides and larger HDL particles, which are better at removing unhealthy cholesterol and potentially preventing plaque buildup and heart disease, in a February 2020 JAHA study that included more than 26,000 people who identified as female.

Fish Oil and Arrhythmia

While studies have found fish oil omega3 supplements to lower risk for heart attack and death from coronary heart disease, some research raises concerns over fish oil’s connection to atrial fibrillation ,

Recommended Reading: Does Feta Cheese Affect Cholesterol

There Are A Number Of Effective Ways To Lower Cholesterol These Include:

Dietary changesThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Trusted Source state that diet is one of the factors that contributes to a persons risk for cardiovascular disease.

People with high cholesterol may need to avoid saturated fat. Common sources include Trusted Source:

palm oilfatty cuts of meatdairy products, such as cheesePeople can take steps to avoid these products and prioritize healthy alternatives instead. The CDC recommend eating more:

fruits and vegetableswhole grains, such as oatsbeans and legumeslean meats, such as chickenfish and seafoodunsaturated fats, such as olive oil or avocado oilLearn more about foods to avoid and include for high cholesterol.

Lifestyle changesA person can also lower their cholesterol with a number of lifestyle changes. These include:

getting regular exercise limiting alcohol reaching or maintaining a moderate body weight

These can be big changes, but starting small and working towards these goals gradually can help. The CDCTrusted Source suggest exercising with family, incorporating movements into ones daily routine, and working with a doctor to create a diet and fitness plan, if possible.

MedicationPeople with high cholesterol may require medication. The most common medications are statins.

Some people feel reluctant to take statins. However, a 2018 reviewTrusted Source states that most people tolerate them well, and that they effectively decrease cholesterol levels and lower the risk of death.

How Do Epa And Dha Benefit Heart Health

What Does Fish Oil Do – Benefits of Omega 3 Supplements

There is now strong evidence, according to Harvard researchers and many others, that EPA and DHA reduce the risk of cardiac death. Studies have found that EPA and DHA can lower your chances of suffering from a heart-related problem, like a heart attack, by 18%.

EPA and DHA lower your risk of getting heart disease or having a heart attack or stroke in part by improving your lipids, although they do not lower LDL naturally. Instead, their primary effect on lipids is to reduce triglycerides naturally. The triglyceride-lowering effect of EPA and DHA is now indisputable, based on many large, long-term, well-conducted studies.

Despite their excellent ability to reduce triglycerides naturally, EPA and DHA actually increase LDL cholesterol, concerning some doctors and medical researchers. All types of EPA/DHA seem to have this LDL-increasing effect, including prescription-based fish oil , over-the-counter fish oil supplements, and EPA/DHA supplements made from algae instead of fish.

You May Like: Does Fat Free Milk Have Cholesterol

Fish Oil And Cholesterol: The Great Natural Benefits Of Omega 3

Everyone has heard of the magic of fish oil and cholesterol effects, and how you can reduce cholesterol naturally with this amazing natural supplement. However, many people have no idea what effect on cholesterol fish oil has, and what the many fish oil benefits are.

The good news is that this page contains pretty much everything you need to know about fish oil, and much more besides.

Here you can learn about a natural way to lower cholesterol, how to raise HDL cholesterol without taking drugs, what are foods that help lower cholesterol, reasons for following a low cholesterol diet plan, what some of the best cholesterol lowering supplements are, and so much more.

Read on to find out more

May Have A Positive Effect On Aging

Taking a fish oil supplement may also have benefits beyond the brain as we get older.

In an August 2012 study in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 138 overweight but healthy middle-aged and older adults were given either a fish oil supplement or a placebo over the course of four months.

Researchers found that those who consumed the supplement experienced an increase in the length of telomeres, a DNA sequence found in chromosomes that shorten as a result of aging.

Plus, because those in the supplement group also showed a reduction in inflammation, study authors believe both of these benefits could lower the risk of chronic conditions that are typically associated with aging, such as arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.

Similarly, because of fish oil’s anti-inflammatory content, taking the supplement may help reduce pain associated with conditions like tendonitis and joint pain, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

While more research is needed to understand the impact omega-3s have on physical aches and pains, one October 2018 study in BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine found that these supplements may have a modest effect on disability and pain outcomes in people diagnosed with rotator cuff related shoulder pain.

Read Also: Is Shrimp Cholesterol Bad

Possibly Linked To Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

The verdict is still out, but it seems possible that the fatty acids in fish oil may affect the risk of prostate cancer.

A July 2013 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that men with high blood concentrations of omega-3PUFA have an increased likelihood of developing the disease.

But some similar research, including a March 2017 review of 44 studies in Integrative Cancer Therapies, has found a possible link between higher levels of omega-3 fatty acid intake and lower mortality rates from prostate cancer.

In short: Further research is necessary to draw any firm conclusions.

Related Reading

Fish Oil Dosage: How Much Should You Take Per Day

Omega 3 Cholesterol  Can Fish Oil Destroy Cholesterol?

Many people take fish oil supplements daily.

Aside from supporting your brain, eyes and heart, fish oil can also fight inflammation in your body .

Many healthcare professionals recommend it. However, you may not know whats the right dosage for you.

This article discusses how much fish oil you should take for optimum health.

Recommended Reading: Is Pork Bad For Cholesterol

May Worsen Insomnia Symptoms

Yes, better sleep is listed as one of the pros of fish oil, but some research suggests too much of the stuff could interfere with sleep.

A March 2015 study in Oxford Medical Case Reports reveals that, for one patient with a history of depression, taking a high dose of fish oil worsened symptoms of insomnia and anxiety. Still, more research is needed to determine fish oil’s general effect on sleep.

How Statins Work

Statins stop the body from making cholesterol. They also help it to reabsorb plaque thats built up on the artery walls.

One longitudinal study found that 27.8 percent of Americans over 40 years old were using statins as of 2013.

2011 review , have found a decreased risk of heart disease in people taking fish oil supplements. Other studies, such as one 2013 clinical trial of 12,000 people with cardiovascular risk factors, have found no such evidence.

In addition, although fish oil does decrease triglycerides, there isnt sufficient evidence that it lowers heart attack risk.

When it comes to lowering low-density lipoprotein , also known as bad cholesterol, the evidence simply isnt there. In fact, fish oil can actually increase LDL levels for some people according to a 2013 literature review.

Food and Drug Administration , statins show an indisputable ability to prevent heart disease but should be taken with care.

Statins have benefits in addition to reducing your cholesterol. For example, they have anti-inflammatory properties that could work to stabilize blood vessels, and they can help prevent heart attacks, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Its because of their potential side effects, such as muscle pain, that theyre generally only prescribed to people with high cholesterol and a risk of cardiovascular disease. Theyre not considered preventive medicine.

You May Like: Can Keto Cause High Cholesterol

What Is Fish Oil

Fish oil is a fat that comes from oily fish, such as herring, mackerel, and salmon. It is available as a liquid or in capsules. People can also obtain it from their diet.

Many people take fish oil as a supplement due to its omega-3 content. Omega-3 fatty acids are linked to a number of health benefits, including:

lowering the chances of heart disease mildly improving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis aiding the growth of a fetus during pregnancy

There are three main typesTrusted Source of omega-3. Each has a different effect on the body. They are:

eicosapentaenoic acid docosahexaenoic acid alpha-linolenic acid

Fish oil primarily contains EPA and DHA, though the exact dosages can vary considerably depending on what type of fish the oil came from, as well as the brand or manufacturer.

Is The Ldl Increase By Dha Enough To Worry About

Fish Oil Omega-3 And Diabetes

Many patients who are prescribed fish oil to reduce triglycerides naturally are already on a statin to lower their total and LDL cholesterol. For them, the fact that fish oil increases LDL isnt considered much of an issue, because a high enough dose of a powerful statin can counteract that increase. But there has been concern for those who are not taking statins, either because of personal preference or issues with side effects. In these individuals, especially if they have high or borderline-high LDL, the LDL-increasing effects of DHA could be as much as 16%, resulting in increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This is where taking a fish oil supplement formulated to contain very high amounts of EPA and low amounts of DHA may be especially useful.

You May Like: Are Baked Potatoes High In Cholesterol

The Best Fish Oil Benefits

Everyone who takes fish oil wants some kind of health benefits, and there are many of them. Some have counted up to 20 benefits of fish oil, but many of them are only believed to be benefits .

However, some of the top benefits have been proved, and what are the top fish oil benefits?

Isnt it amazing what a little bit of oil can do?

Increase Your Consumption Of Dietary Fiber

Ideally, you should be getting 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day, says Dr. Cho. Fiber binds to cholesterol and eliminates it from your body.

To increase your fiber intake, eat more whole grains, legumes like beans and lentils, vegetables and fruits. You should be getting a good mix of both soluble fibers, which are more beneficial for cholesterol, and insoluble fibers, which are better for your gut health.

Lower cholesterol isnt the only benefit of getting enough fiber. Other benefits include reducing your risk of diseases, preventing constipation and keeping you full longer.

Read Also: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol

Sometimes Associated With Gastrointestinal Issues

Taking fish oil supplements could cause problems within the digestive system, including indigestion, nausea and loose stools, especially in people who already have gastrointestinal issues, per the Mayo Clinic.

A February 2014 study in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews discovered that fish oil pills may lead to upper gastrointestinal tract symptoms, such as an upset stomach, in patients who are managing Crohn’s disease.

Fish oil capsules can leave behind a fishy aftertaste in some people, and others are bothered by fishy-tasting burps.

Enteric coatings are sometimes used on fish oil supplements to hamper that fishy aftertaste, They do this by keeping the capsule from dissolving until it reaches the small intestine.

Enteric-coated fish oil is considered safe and, per April 2011 research in the Journal of Functional Foods, is not believed to have an effect on the efficacy of the capsule’s ingredients.


Most Popular