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LE Magazine September 2006
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Broad-spectrum Cardiac Protection with Fish Oil


Lower Triglycerides, Reduce Arrhythmia, and Slow Plaque Growth with Omega-3s By William Davis, MD

Fish Oil: Best Source of Omega-3s

Omega-3 Dosing Strategies

In order to help my patients reduce their cardiovascular disease risk factors, I suggest 1200 mg per day of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA + DHA). In my clinical practice, I have noted that this dose yields measurable improvements in cardiovascular risk factors. Omega-3 doses of 1800 mg per day may provide even greater benefits, and this is the dose we commonly use in our program to help reverse heart disease. To address elevated triglyceride levels, my clinic often recommends 1200-3000 mg per day of omega-3 fatty acids.

Fish oil and cold-water fish are the most concentrated sources of EPA and DHA. A secondary, much less concentrated source is alpha-linolenic acid from flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts, and canola oil. However, only a small portion of ingested alpha-linolenic acid is converted into active EPA or DHA.26 Although linolenic acid may provide unique health benefits of its own, fish oil remains by far the most abundant source of heart-healthy omega-3s.

Success Story: Remarkable Changes in Stacy’s Blood Test Results

I advised Stacy to take 2700 mg of omega-3 fatty acids every day. She chose a low-potency, low-cost fish oil that required nine capsules to be consumed each day. She accomplished this by taking three capsules three times per day with meals. Stacy required more than most people, due to her unusually high triglycerides. Within several weeks, however, she was out of immediate danger: the omega-3s caused her triglycerides to plummet to 344 mg/dL.

Over the next few months, we counseled Stacy on reducing her intake of processed carbohydrates like crackers, pretzels, breakfast cereals, and other wheat-containing products. We also advised her to avoid high-fructose corn syrup, a common food additive that contributes to elevated triglyceride levels, and to reduce her weight by about 20 pounds. Stacy accomplished all this. Her most recent blood panel showed total cholesterol of 165 mg/dL, triglycerides of 144 mg/dL, HDL of 70 mg/dL, and LDL of 66 mg/dL.

Although an extreme case, Stacy’s experience demonstrates that omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA can form the foundation of a powerful strategy to dramatically reduce dangerously high blood lipid levels without the use of prescription drugs.

No prescription medication can provide the profound results that Stacy obtained from the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil. If we did not have fish oil at our disposal, she would have required at least three additional prescription medications and yet would have achieved less than 50% of the benefit. 

If I were forced to choose one supplement to prevent heart disease, I would choose omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil without hesitation. When you witness the hidden genetic and acquired causes of heart disease that we identify in our heart disease-reversal program, you develop new respect for the power of fish oil. In many instances, fish oil not only corrects but eliminates these patterns. It has been responsible for much of our success.

Conclusion

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids such as EPA and DHA protect cardiovascular health in myriad ways, combating several critically important cardiovascular risk factors.

 

“In terms of its potential impact on health in the Western world, the ‘omega-3’ story may some day be viewed as one of the most important in the history of modern nutritional science.”

Dr. William Harris
St. Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institute
University of Missouri-Kansas City

Research clearly demonstrates that these crucial fats help prevent deadly heart arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Omega-3s show efficacy in fighting disease-provoking inflammatory processes and averting the insidious phenomenon of endothelial dysfunction. Omega-3 fatty acids have potent triglyceride-reducing effects and provide the additional benefit of reducing the after-meal flood of fat in the bloodstream, an emerging risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids help stabilize dangerous atherosclerotic plaque and prevent dangerous blood clots.

These multifaceted heart-protective effects of omega-3 fatty acids make fish oil part of the foundation of a nutritional strategy to guard against cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Dr. William Davis is an author, lecturer, and cardiologist practicing in Milwaukee, WI. He is founder of Track your Plaque, a heart disease-prevention program that shows how to use CT heart scans to control coronary plaque. He can be contacted through www.trackyourplaque.com.

Continued on Omega-3 Fatty Acids Show Promise in Fighting Deadly Cancers

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