Cholesterol and Fish Oil for the Heart

Saturday, July 31st, 2010 | In Health | Tags:

Cholesterol and Fish Oil for the Heart
~ Cholesterol and Fish Oil for the Heart ~

First at all, statins are drugs used primarily to reduce the cholesterol level. However, they also have other beneficial properties beyond lowering the cholesterol. They can help to stabilize a cholesterol plaque or atheroma and thus prevent its rupture and resultant heart attack. They can also help to improve the ability of the coronary arteries to become bigger appropriately in responses to stress. Therefore, it is important for the patient to stay on statins unless there is a compelling reason against doing so such as severe muscle or liver inflammation.

The other issue is about the benefits of fish oil. It has long been known that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are good for the health and that omega-3 PUFAs are found in abundance in “oily” fish from colder climatic areas namely salmon, tuna, herring, sardines and mackerel. However, it is only recently that omega-3 and fish oils are clinically proven to be beneficial.

In the Heart2Heart article on September 6, 2009, the discussion about the study published in a reputable medical journal involving almost 40,000 participants. It revealed that omega-3 PUFAs were beneficial not just as primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) – to prevent a major CVD event such as heart attack or stroke, but also as secondary prevention such like after a heart attack to prevent repeat episodes. Other benefits discovered were in terms of total mortality, sudden death and CVD mortality and also wide a range of heart rhythm problems such like atrial fibrillation.

Healthy individuals are recommended to consume at least 500mg of EPA/ DHA per day, which is equal to around two fatty-dish meals per week and that those with known CVD should get 800mg to 1000mg of EPA/ DHA per day.

So the long and short of it all is that the patient should continue taking statins if they are able to tolerate it and they can complement their heart treatment by taking fish oils. Do not forget to have plenty of exercise, though and watch their fat and calorie intake.

Source Credit: theSun newspaper.


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