Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fish oil and LDL-cholesterol - what's going on?

The benefits of omega-3 fish oil for the heart are undeniable. I don’t believe there is more research on any one nutrient, any one natural product, in humans and the heart (and I’ve worked with natural product research for 20 years).

Omega-3 fish oil is proven to reduce triglycerides, improve circulation, lower resting heart rate, normalize blood pressure, reduce inflammation and maintain healthier blood vessels. Adults who have more omega-3 (EPA and DHA) in their blood are less likely to die from sudden cardiac death or have a fatal first heart attack. And this is just the short list of benefits.

On the same token, there is poor understanding about omega-3 fish oil and LDL-cholesterol. Clinical research indicates that omega-3 fish oil may slightly increase LDL-cholesterol. If this happens, how can it be good?

Earlier this month, Dr. Andrew Weil addressed this topic in an email, and I’m glad he did. Maybe, together, we can better understand what is going on.

Having LDL-cholesterol in our blood is healthy, normal and necessary. Let’s take a closer look.

LDL-cholesterol (LDL-c) is transported in the blood in what are called ‘particles’. LDL-c particles can exist as small and dense particles; small, dense particles are considered damaging and they increase risk for heart disease. LDL-c particles can also exist as large and buoyant particles; large and buoyant particles are considered healthful and they reduce risk for heart disease.

Omega-3 fish oil makes LDL-c particles larger and more buoyant (e.g., healthier)

The Bottom Line: We need some LDL-cholesterol in our body (cholesterol has benefits, too). Omega-3 fish oil helps us have a healthier form of LDL-cholesterol and that reduces risk for heart disease. The levels may go up, but because the form is healthier, it is good.

Please write with questions or comments. I hope this is clear. Is it?

4 comments:

shalini said...

Hi,
Please help me.
I am a 32 year old dentist from India and a mother to a 3 year old. 8 months back i was surprised to see elevated cholesterol levels in a routine health check up. i did not do anything about it. Then about 2 months ago, i stumbled upon Equazen's MUMOMEGA and i took it coz i was planning to have another child. i took it for a full 2 months. After this i got my blood tested for a lipid profile and got shocking results. Total cholesterol 295, LDL 220, but normal HDL, VLDL and triglycerides. I feel miserable wondering if i jeopardized my health by taking these capsules and also wondering what to do next.
Please advise me if i was wrong and also how to combat this problem in i discover that i am pregnant indeed.
with warm regards,
Dr. Shalini

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Kushal Pandit said...

Thanx for ur post and giving us a hugefull information, i also read somewhere The omega-3 fatty acids found in Fish Oil possesses many health benefits.and recomended by many Health Autorities as a part of Balanced Diet. Fish Oil contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids, specifically Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA). One of the Health Benefits linked to Fish Oil is a low risk of Heart Attack. very healpfull for Blood Circulations. is this true..????