Heart Experts Support Use Of Prescription Fish Oil To Lower Triglyceride Levels
MONDAY, Aug. 19, 2019 â Heart experts are advising that prescription-strength fish oil pills might help lower excess levels of blood fats known as triglycerides.
The pills contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. When prescribed by a doctor, these meds can lower high triglyceride levels by 20%-30%, according to a new American Heart Association science advisory.
âFrom our review of the evidence from 17 randomized, controlled clinical trials on high triglyceride levels, we concluded that treatment with 4 grams daily of any of the available prescription is effective and can be used safely in conjunction with statin medicines that lower cholesterol,â Ann Skulas-Ray said in an AHA news release. She is one of the authors of the advisory published in the journal Circulation.
Triglycerides are fats that circulate in the blood. Elevated levels of triglycerides can lead to narrowing of the arteries, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
About 25% of U.S. adults have triglyceride levels above 150 mg/dL, which is borderline high. Rates of elevated triglycerides are on the rise in the United States due to growing rates of obesity and diabetes, both of which boost triglyceride levels.
Very high levels of triglycerides can also cause inflammation of the pancreas.
While the AHA comes out in favor of prescription fish oil supplements, it does not do the same for over-the-counter supplements.
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Cholesterol 101 Its Not As Bad As You Think
Firstly lets briefly define what cholesterol is, and how it affects the body.
Your body needs cholesterol, and actually makes it all by itself in the liver. Our bodies use it to make cells, for making vitamin D and hormones.
We cannot function without cholesterol.
So there is really no such thing as good or bad cholesterol.
To transport cholesterol around, our bodies use something called lipoproteins. These are just little packages that move through our blood delivering various substances. You have probably already heard of two of these called LDL and HDL . There are others too.
But LDL is not bad cholesterol because its not even cholesterol. Its a lipoprotein, and just the delivery guy.
LDL carries fresh cholesterol, and HDL carries used cholesterol, most of which is recycled by the liver.
So why is LDL often referred to as bad?
Because too much cholesterol in the blood stream is known to contribute to clogging up arteries . And LDL is the delivery guy while HDL is the clean-up guy.
Which means of course you want the two in balance. If you had no LDL your body could not function. So LDL itself is not bad either, but having too much of it can be.
May Reduce Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
Another one of the fish oil benefits is that it can help with joint pain. Studies suggest the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes painful inflammation of the joints. A 2013 Australian study found that taking fish oil supplements in conjunction with conventional RA therapies was associated with better remission rates, meaning omega-3s may be effective at relieving joint pain in the long term. Whats more, omega-3s may help control inflammation elsewhere in the body, such as the lungs.
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Modify Your Eating Habits
A great way to lower your cholesterol naturally is to start by replacing unhealthy fats with healthy fats .
This means becoming a food label reader, says Dr. Cho. Its important to limit your saturated fat intake. There should be no more than 2 grams of fat per serving and it should account for less than 7% of your daily calorie intake.
Saturated fats are most often found in palm oil and coconut oil, along with animal products like beef, pork, chicken skin, hot dogs and regular cheese.
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
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Cholesterols Little Known Secret
The classification of HDL as the good cholesterol and LDL as bad cholesterol is a simple generalization to help us understand the different functions of lipoproteins in the body. The truth is that both lipoproteins are simply carriers of cholesterol. They are best described as packages for cholesterol transportation.
In this regard, high-density lipoprotein or HDL transports cholesterol from the blood while low-density lipoprotein or LDL is responsible for carrying cholesterol through the blood.
Therefore, although a high level of HDL cholesterol improves cardiovascular health, a high level of LDL cholesterol does not necessarily worsen cardiovascular health. It is what happens to LDL cholesterol that makes it bad for the heart.
Specifically, LDL cholesterol only turns bad when it becomes oxidized by free radicals.
Furthermore, other non-HDL can be turned dangerous by these free radicals.
Therefore, the levels of HDL and LDL cholesterols are not the only factors affecting cardiovascular health. Other non-HDL cholesterols besides LDL are also important.
Should People With High Cholesterol Eat Fish And Seafood
For most people, it is beneficial to consume oily fish. The United States Department of Agricultures Dietary Guidelines for Americans 20202025 recommends that most adults eat at least 8 ounces of low-mercury fish and seafood each week.
On average, this gives someone 250 milligrams of DHA and EPA per day, though the exact amount will depend on the type of fish.
However, because some fish and seafood contains dietary cholesterol, people who struggle to control their cholesterol levels may need to be more cautious.
The United Kingdom charity, Heart UK, recommends that people with this concern speak with a dietitian about what is best for them.
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Another Perspective On The Fish Oil
A 1990 study published in the journal, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, provided useful insights into how fish oil affects different lipoproteins and their capacity to transport cholesterol.
For this study, the researchers recruited 33 men suffering from mild hypercholesterolemia and then divided them into 3 groups.
The men in the first group were given 14 g/day of linoleic acid from safflower oil the second group received 9 g/day of alpha-linolenic acid from linseed oil, and the third group got 3.8 g/day of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil.
The results of the study showed that only fish oil reduced triglyceride levels. Also, only fish oil raised the level of LDL cholesterol. The fish oil group also benefitted from reduced VLDL apoprotein B.
While all three oils reduced HDL cholesterol, the biggest reduction was seen in the fish oil group.
Besides measuring the levels of lipoproteins, this study also measured the activity of the enzymes required for the lipoproteins to transport cholesterol. And this part of the study provided a unique perspective on the activities of LDL and HDL.
The results of the study showed that fish oil
- inhibited the transfer of cholesteryl ester between LDL and HDL by 23%
- reduced the activity of the plasma enzyme, cholesterol acetyltransferase by 21%
- reduced the production of thromboxane by 9%
Another rarely mentioned benefit of fish oil for cardiovascular health is its inhibition of thromboxane synthesis.
Fish Oil Vs Statins: What Keeps Cholesterol Down
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.
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Lower Ldl Levels Are Better
In a JAMA editorial accompanying the study, Christopher P. Cannon, MD, of Brigham and Womens Hospital and Harvard Medical School wrote that aggressive LDL lowering is the ideal lower is better.
The JAMA studys findings echo those of another large 4,162-patient study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. It concluded that LDL cholesterol levels of 62 were even better than levels of 95 at preventing death, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular-related problems in people with heart disease.
Should I Take Fish Oil
Omega-3 in fish oil is said to improve arthritis and reduce the likelihood of heart attacks. But the science suggests: Maybe just eat a fish once in a while.
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In 1971, a team of Danish researchers found that an Inuit population in Greenland had lower cholesterol levels and incidence of heart disease than Danes and Inuits who lived in Denmark. A theory arose: The indigenous peoples high marine-fat diet gave them heart protections.
Since then, fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids the health-boosting star component of fish oil have been the subject of tens of thousands of papers exploring their health benefits.
Today, the Eskimo theory has been largely discredited. We really dont know if the Eskimos got heart disease or not, said Malden C. Nesheim, an emeritus professor of nutrition at Cornell University, who chaired an Institute of Medicine committee assessing the risks and benefits of seafood in the early 2000s, in a 2018 interview with The New York Times. Ive been an omega-3 skeptic since doing this study.
Fish Oil Heart Attack Heart Disease And Heart Health
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are claims that fish oil lowers the risk of death, heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms, and strokes in people with known cardiovascular disease. They also state that fish oil slows hardening of the arteries and lowers blood pressure slightly by 2-5 mmHg.
What I have found is that the research into fish oil for heart health, disease and so on, is very much in it’s infancy. One study may find a benefit to fish oil capsules, while another finds no benefit, or even that fish oil hurts your cardiovascular system.
To give one example, the CSIRO, a respected and highly valued government research department in Australia, proved conclusively that omega-3 fatty acids – as found in fish and fish oil, protects against heart rhythm disorders – that was in 2005. In 2006, another valued research report is published in the AMA, proving that omega 3 enriched fish oils do NOT lower the occurence of serious abnormal heart rhythms, nor the risk of death due to them.
So we have two conclusive fish oil studies that contradict each other! Obviously more fish oil and heart research has to be done to find out more.
Common Question Misses The Point: Omega
The short answer to both of our questions is “yes”, with very important caveats.
The omega-3s in fish oil do not work like statins, which selectively lower only one kind of “bad” cholesterol, called LDL.And the characterization “bad” cholesterol is a gross oversimplification of the ways in which cholesterol impacts cardiovascular risks.It’s believed that the omega-3s in fish fat reduce the risk of strokes, sudden cardiac death, and second heart attacks by doing four things:
We should note that fish oil can raise levels of LDL cholesterol slightly in people with high blood levels of triglycerides.
However, that otherwise slightly negative impact is insignificant when seen in the context of all of the effects that omega-3s exert on blood fats, blood cholesterol, arterial inflammation, blood stickiness , and other relevant risk factors for cardiovascular disease… such as the ability of omega-3s to lower levels of lipoprotein lipase, which traps LDL cholesterol in artery walls.The skinny on cholesterol and cardio riskRemember that when doctors talk about types of cholesterol such as LDL and HDL, they are really talking about different lipoprotein “packages in which cholesterol is carried.
And those free radicals result from inflammation in the artery wall and blood.
Statins and cardiac risks
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High & Low Cholesterol Foods Big Changes
The most important thing to understand about cholesterol in food, is that the advice dramatically changed in 2015.
Before 2015, we were told to limit our cholesterol intake from food to less than 300 mg per day. As we have learned more about the way cholesterol works in the body, the DGA has changed that advice so there is now no limit .
Because as the DGA puts it, there is no longer any adequate evidence for placing a limit on dietary cholesterol. It has no significant effect on the cholesterol levels in our blood . In other words, eating cholesterol does not raise our cholesterol levels. The connection just isnt there.
So eggs for example are not the high cholesterol food to be avoided that they used to be. They are actually packed with great nutrition. This also means there are no high LDL cholesterol foods to avoid. High cholesterol foods do not mean high blood levels or test levels, just as foods with low levels will not reduce high test results.
That said, you still need to be sensible. Fats are not bad and never have been, not even saturated fat. Just keep balance in mind. Trans-fats however are bad and should be avoided as much as possible these are not real fats but fats that are generated mainly by high levels of processing. But then we already know highly processed foods are not good choices anyway.
Food can however affect your cholesterol levels in other ways. As we have already covered with fish oil specifically.
Krill Oil Vs Fish Oil: Which Is Better For You
Fish oil, which is derived from fatty fish like anchovies, mackerel and salmon, is one of the most popular dietary supplements in the world.
Its health benefits primarily come from two types of omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid . Both have been shown to improve heart and brain health, among other benefits.
Recently, a supplement called krill oil has emerged as another product rich in EPA and DHA. Some people even claim that krill oil offers more benefits than fish oil.
This article examines the differences between krill oil and fish oil and evaluates the evidence to determine which is better for your health.
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Does Fish Oil Benefit The Lowering Of Cholesterol
The use of fish oil to lower cholesterol is a contentious subject. Some research supports the opinion that omega 3 enriched fish oil lowers cholesterol, but there are also other research reports that fail to find any improvement in cholesterol as a result of taking fish oil.
If you take omega 3 enriched fish oil daily, hdl good cholesterol improves 1-3%, which means heart attack risk is reduced by about 3 to 9%. BUT ldl bad cholesterol increases by 5-10%, which can raise your risk of heart attack 10 to 20%. So fish oil does NOT appear to be a viable treatment option for high cholesterol.
Some of the information above is based on cholesterol guidelines and cholesterol research from both AMA and AHA.
However, a recent study by Dr. C Anderson, MD, at the George Institute for International Health at the University of Sydney in Australia, circa 2007, found that fish oil failed to lower cholesterol and failed to protect against heart disease. “The supplements didn’t work.”
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Can I Eat Fish
Oily fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and herring are best. Dr. Cho recommends aiming for 2 servings per week.
You can supplement with fish oil, but be careful because very high doses of pure fish oil can lower your triglyceride levels and increase your good cholesterol, she says. It doesnt lower your LDL, though. Be sure to read your fish oil supplement label.
When reading the label of your fish oil bottle, look out for the EPA plus DHA in each serving since those are the effective ingredients. For example, if your fish oil says 1000 mg of fish oil but only contains 300 mg of EPA and DHA, know that youre taking 700 mg of unnecessary fish blubber. Make sure youre choosing fish oil with the highest amount of EPA plus DHA in each pill.
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Natural And Powerful Fish Oil Cholesterol Effects
Fish oil is an amazing thing that you can take to help you get healthy, prevent heart problems, and keep your cholesterol under control.
There are many fish oil cholesterol effects that you need to know about, such as:
Isnt it amazing how this oil that comes from fish can be so beneficial in helping you to control the byproduct of other kinds of oil? Ironic, isnt it?
Other Uses Than Controlling Cholesterol Fish Oil Is Good For
The above benefits of fish oil are awesome, but did you know that fish oil can do more than just control your cholesterol, keep your heart healthy, fight off cancer, help you process food efficiently, and balance your mood?
Here are a few uses other than controlling cholesterol fish oil is good for:
Wow, the benefits just keep piling up, and fish oil is turning out to be quite an awesome thing to take.
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