Combining Fish Oil with Statins Benefits Patients
Apr 07, 2011 05:05PM
● By Deepti Sadhwani, MD
A major study demonstrates the striking benefits of combining high-dose EPA with Statin drugs for patients with cardiovascular disease. The study consisted of nearly 19,000 Japanese patients taking standard amounts of statins plus or minus 1.8 grams of EPA per day. After more than 4½ years, those taking the statins plus fish oil had 19 percent fewer major cardiovascular events. This is a remarkable decrease, especially considering the subjects initially had high LDL cholesterol (182 mg/dl) levels. Since this was a Japanese population, they already had relatively low AA/EPA levels compared to Americans, due to their increased consumption of fish. The extra EPA simply decreased it even more.
What this means to Americans, who have a much higher AA/EPA ratio, is that if they are taking statins, they should supplement their diet with even greater amounts EPA than used in this study to get the same benefits. Since we routinely recommend about 5 grams of EPA and DHA for cardiovascular patients, using a 2:1 ratio of EPA to DHA, this translates into about 3.2 grams per day of EPA. This is a lot of EPA, but if you want a nearly 20 percent reduction in cardiovascular events, it is very good medicine since the only side effect is that it will make you smarter.
Deepti Sadhwani, MD is located at Quality Health Care in Sebastian. She specializes in Zone Dietary Management of obesity. For more information on Pharmaceutical grade RxOMEGA-3 fish oil call Dr. Sadhwani at 772-581-2373.