Fish Oil and Cholesterol Lowering - A Perfect Combination

How are the fish oil and cholesterol lowering related?

When one is diagnosed with high cholesterol, most probably your physician would advise to start taking fish oil. Some of you may wonder why fish oil is beneficial for people who have high cholesterol levels?

First of all, it is important to mention that fish oil consists of polyunsaturated fatty acids. There are two main types of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the fish oil: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

These two acids are used as fish oil supplements and they are prescribed to people who have troubles getting fish oil on their own.

These two acids have a positive effect on the cholesterol metabolism. In addition, if these people have also heart problems, they could get great benefits from the intake of these two acids according to the studies.

Can one take fish oil and cholesterol is reduced?

To understand better, let's see what studies have shown. According to these trials, people who took fish oil (2-4 grams of DHA and EPA per day), got their cholesterol reduced.

They also showed to have their triglycerides reduced up to 45%.In addition, it was estimated that people who had really high levels of cholesterol, let say near 270mg/dl (which is really high cholesterol level); the fish oil will have even greater effect.

On the contrary, people with normal cholesterol levels will not be affected as much as the people with high cholesterol levels. What fish oil can do is to increase the efflux of the cholesterol from the body and to suppress its production from the liver.

Furthermore, LDL- “bad” cholesterol and HDL- “good” cholesterol were also affected. These two lipoproteins play a really important part when determining the risk for cardiac complication.

Their numbers are of great value for the physician who must assess patient’s status. LDL are lipoproteins, which transport lipids from the liver to the blood vessels. These lipoproteins contribute to the development of atheromatous plaques.

Fish oil may suppress the production of LDL through a direct influence on the liver enzymes.

With regards to HDL, they were shown to be increased slightly (by 5-10%) as a compensation to the reduce of triglycerides levels. In some patients, it was shown an increase in the HDL levels more than 15%. The production of HDL is stimulated by the income of fish oil. HDL transports the lipids from the blood vessels to the liver, where they are thrown away from the body.

Fish oil and cholesterol lowering drugs

When you are diagnosed with high cholesterol problems, and your physician decided to go for drugs, on the other hand, he/she would ask to go for fish oil too. Is it safe?

Yes, it is completely safe. The only concern regards to the dose adjustment of the cholesterol lowering drugs. As fish oil reduces cholesterol naturally in a slowly and steady way; cholesterol drugs can show faster results due to their chemical properties.

When the desired effect of fish oil is achieved (your numbers will be reduced), then you would have less need for the cholesterol drugs. At the same time, you will face less side effects from these drugs.

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