The American Heart Association just released a report about a Japanese study of over 18,000 people that lasted nearly 5 years. The study reports that the use of fish oil in conjuction with statins, a cholesterol-lowering drug, had a greater effect on reducing heart-related maladies than just statins alone. These conditions included:
…sudden cardiac death, heart attack, unstable angina (sustained chest pain due to the heart’s oxygen starvation), or undergoing procedures to reopen blocked arteries, such as angioplasty/stenting or coronary artery bypass surgery.
According to the report, this type of study is “the first large-scale, prospective, randomized trial that combines statins and omega-3 fatty acid therapy.” What did this one-of-a-kind study find?
Researchers found that 8.7 percent of statin/EPA-treated patients in the secondary prevention group experienced one of the composite outcomes, compared to 10.7 percent of the statin-only secondary prevention group, again a 19 percent risk reduction in those getting statin plus EPA.
Nearly a 20% risk reduction, just from a few grams of fish oil a day. Dr. Robert Eckel, M.D., President of the American Heart Assocation, adds a warning about the dosage: “An important consideration is that the dose of omega-3 fish oil — 1,800 mg a day of highly purified EPA — is more than the standard over-the-counter supplement.” And he’s right! You don’t want to take much of the typical health food grade fish oil out there. Make sure to pick up some pharmaceutical grade fish oil!