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Life Extension Magazine April 2013
As We See It  

Science by Ambush

By William Faloon

Cardiologists Only Partially Correct Atherogenic Risk Factors

Prescribing a statin drug is what doctors typically do to prevent and treat coronary atherosclerosis. Cholesterol and LDL, however, are only two players in the atherosclerosis process.

There are now two fish oil “drugs” approved by the FDA to lower triglycerides. Fish oil also protects against atherosclerosis by reducing inflammation63-71 and inhibiting abnormal platelet aggregation.72-76 But even fish oil and statin drugs are not going to adequately counteract all factors involved in coronary artery disease.

Mainstream cardiologists fail to appreciate that coronary atherosclerosis is a sign of systemic arterial dysfunction requiring aggressive therapy to correct.

To read more about the steps you need to take to reduce your odds of being stricken with a vascular disorder, refer to the articles on pages 68 and 78 of this month’s issue.

How We Protect You

Life Extension’s annual Blood Test Super Sale commences April 1, 2013. The reason I am alerting you early is to enable you to start preparing for your annual comprehensive blood tests.

Make sure, for example, that you take your omega-3 and vitamin D supplements with the heaviest meal of the day. These fat-soluble nutrients absorb far better when consumed with the meal of the day that contains the most fat. A problem we fear occurs in clinical studies is that participants take fat-soluble nutrients on relatively empty stomachs, which leads to poor absorption and subsequent failure to derive benefits.

The extensive focus group sessions we conducted reveal the typical consumer has no idea what they need to do to protect against the degenerative diseases of aging.

We provide our members with every means of support possible, from access to knowledgeable health advisors and low-cost comprehensive blood testing, to accurately reported scientific data and ongoing clinical research.

The public, on the other hand, is left to rely on a sound-bite frenzied news media for health data, which often involves flouting a scary medical headline without assessing a story’s veracity. I call this science by ambush because it blind sides an established principle, and denies an opportunity for meaningful rebuttal!

For longer life,

For Longer Life

William Faloon

Higher-Dose Fish Oil Provides Heart Benefits
Omega 3

A number of studies have indicated that higher doses of fish oil leads to beneficial effects in preventing cardiovascular disease events or reducing risk factors. For example:

A randomized, placebo-controlled trial found 1,800 mg of combined EPA plus DHA was associated with a 10% lower rate of cardiac events, 12% lower rate of non-fatal infarctions, and an almost 11% lower rate of cardiac deaths.5

In a large intervention study, 18,000 patients were randomized to receive either a statin medication alone or a statin plus 1,800 mg of EPA-fish oil daily. After 5 years, those with a history of coronary artery disease had a 19% lower rate of major coronary events in the statin-plus EPA-fish oil group compared to the statin-only group.6

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with chronic hemodialysis patients found that 1,700 mg of omega-3 fatty acids daily was associated with a 70% reduction in the relative risk of myocardial infarction.7

A randomized, controlled trial using 3,300 mg of EPA and DHA (and then a decreased dosage) found a trend toward lower cardiovascular event occurrence with fish oil supplementation. Seven cardiovascular events occurred in the placebo group (not given fish oil) while only two cardiovascular events occurred in the fish oil-supplemented group during the study.8

A meta-analysis with an average fish oil dose of 3,700 mg found lowered systolic blood pressure by an average 2.1 mmHg and diastolic by 1.6 mmHg.9

In a randomized trial with peripheral arterial disease patients, 2,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids daily resulted in a 49% improvement in flow-mediated dilation, a marker of endothelial cell health.10

In contrast to the findings of the JAMA meta-analysis, two important studies demonstrated significant benefits with even moderate fish oil doses:

The GISSI-Prevenzione study (a large, randomized, controlled trial) found that 1,000 mg/day of EPA and DHA in 11,323 patients with a history of recent myocardial infarction reduced the risk of total mortality by 20% and sudden death by 45%.11,12

The DART study — a randomized, controlled trial that examined the effects of advising 2,033 subjects to increase dietary fatty fish — revealed a 29% reduction in all-cause mortality compared with those not advised.13

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) meta-analysis also conflicts with other reviews of fish-oil research. Other meta-analyses have demonstrated a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease outcomes in those supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil. For example:

A 2009 meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials found that dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids reduced the incidence of sudden cardiac death in subjects with prior myocardial infarction.14

Another 2009 meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials found that dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids reduced the risk of cardiovascular death, sudden cardiac death, all-cause mortality, and non-fatal cardiovascular events in patients with a history of certain cardiovascular events or risk factors.15

A 2008 meta-analysis found a significant reduction in death from cardiac causes with fish oil supplementation.16

A 2002 meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials concluded that omega-3 fatty acids reduced overall mortality, mortality due to myocardial infarction, and sudden death in patients with coronary heart disease.17

References

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