Vail health column: Statins or fish oils to treat high cholesterol?
VAIL CO, Colorado
For many years high cholesterol levels have been on the forefront of peoples minds as it relates to their health. Statins, pharmaceutical drugs used to lower cholesterol in the body, have become one of the most prescribed drugs in America. I recently read a review of a study from the Archives of Internal Medicine done in 2005, titled “Effect of Different Anti-lipidemic Agents and Diets on Mortality: A Systematic review” that may change your mind about the importance of your cholesterol on your health.
The study examined the best available evidence from a total of 97 studies, which evaluated the effect on mortality by lowering lipids with various methods. In the study, 137,140 individuals received various intervention and 138,976 individuals were controls. Omega-3 fats (fish oils) did the best job at reducing death from all causes (mean reduction of 23 percent) and death from heart problems (mean reduction 32 percent), but did the worst job at lowering blood cholesterol levels. Statin drugs did the best at lowering blood cholesterol and were 10 times more effective than omega-3 fats, however omega-3 fats were 44 percent more effective than Statin drugs in reducing cardiac related deaths and 32 percent more effective in reducing death for all reasons.
This study is extremely important because the results of this study question whether lowering cholesterol should be such a focus for overall health. Omega-3 fats anti-rhythmic, anti-inflammatory and cell membrane stabilizing effects theoretically suggest that the main focus should not be on lowering cholesterol, but instead on improving the overall environment of the body through reducing inflammation and improving overall health with proper lifestyle changes.
Here are three suggestions that may help with improving your overall health:
•-If you are taking Statins I typically recommend taking 150 mg of Co-Q10 per day supplement along with it.
•-Have your AA/EPA ratio checked to see if you have adequate omega-3s in your system, which I check on every patient if possible and in my opinion is a great indicator of the inflammatory state of your body.
•-Take a high-quality fish oil supplement at a dose of 1 to 3 grams per day; I use Standard Process Calamari Liquids and Nordic Naturals brands with my patients.
Remember, before making any changes to your health regimen, always consult with your doctor. If you have any questions or would like a free consult concerning your health, visit http://www.seanmillerhealth.com for more information.
Sean Miller is a chiropractor practicing in Edwards and a popular natural health blog writer with a growing following.
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