May 7th, 2012

Fish Oils Lower Triglyceride Levels

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Background:

Though cholesterol gets the most attention, a large body of accumulating evidence indicates that elevations of triglycerides in the blood (hypertriglyceridemia) is also an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease especially in women. When hypertriglyceridemia is combined with elevated LDL cholesterol and high LDL:HDL cholesterol ratio (>5) the risk for heart disease is even greater, e.g., approximately sixfold greater compared to subjects with normal blood measurements.

 

Fish Oils Fight Heart Disease:

A large body of scientific evidence shows that supplementing the diet with highly purified fish oils protect against heart disease via a number of different actions including:

  • Lowering triglyceride levels
  • Reducing platelet aggregation
  • Improving blood flow
  • Lowering high blood pressure
  • Improving the function of the blood vessel lining

In large scale clinical studies, these effects translate into increased life expectancy, especially in people who have had a previous heart attack. In general, for preventive effects the dosage recommendation is 1,000 mg EPA+DHA per day and for lowering triglycerides the dosage is 3,000 mg.

 

New Data:

In a double-blind study, after 8 weeks of supplementation a daily dosage of 3.4 g EPA+DHA lowered triglycerides by 27% while a lower dosage of 0.85 g had no effect. These results clearly indicate that the effective dosage for lowering triglycerides with fish oils requires dosages of 3 g EPA+DHA per day.

 

Reference:

Skulas-Ray AC, Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS, et al. Dose-response effects of omega-3 fatty acids on triglycerides, inflammation, and endothelial function in healthy persons with moderate hypertriglyceridemia. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb;93(2):243-52.3…