Four FDA Approved Pharmaceutical Grade Omacor vs. Twelve OTC Fish Oil Capsules
Yes this post is about fish oil. Fish oil contains high concentrations of Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 has been clinically approved for use in reducing triglycerides, and in increasing high density lipoprotein levels in the blood. Eating a diet high in Omega 3 has been linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
The recommended way to increase Omega 3 consumption is by including fish, and whole grains in your diet. The FDA recommends that individuals with no history of heart disease consume at least one gram of Omega 3 per day. Most Americans fail to reach this healthy Omega 3 consumption level.
For individuals with a history of cardiovascular disease increasing Omega 3 consumption becomes an important matter, and under a doctor's guidance consumption of higher levels of Omega 3 could prevent a heart attack.
The recommended dosage for individuals with cardiovascular disease is between two to four grams of Omega 3 per day. Diet alone may allow an individual to reach the one gram per day consumption goal, but to reach four grams involves the use of Omega 3 dietary supplements.
Omega 3 supplements come in several forms, and the most popular is fish oil capsules. Most standard fish oil capsules contain between one fourth, and one third of a gram of Omega 3. By taking three to four fish oil capsules per day an individual can reach the daily recommended consumption of one gram. However for individuals trying to reduce their triglyceride levels, or who are trying to increase their HDL levels consumption of twelve to sixteen fish oil capsules per day is necessary. This can be problem. Some people have problems taking so many large fish oil capsules even when they know it could save their life. Other people have stomach upset, or don't like the occasional "fishy burp" from taking so many fish oil capsules.
From MedPages on Increasing HDL with Omega 3
Fish oils (omega-3 fatty acids). Dietary modification to increase the consumption of cold-water fish (eg, salmon) rich in polyunsaturated fats may help to raise HDL-C. Capsules containing omega-3 fatty acids (1.48 g of docosahexaenoic acid + 1.88 g of eicosapentaenoic acid) have been formulated and are commercially available in some parts of the world (as Omacor). In a recent small study in patients with familial combined hyperlipidemia, treatment with this formulation for 8 weeks increased HDL-C by 8%, particularly the more buoyant HDL2 subfraction. Levels of the antioxidant HDL-associated enzyme paraoxonase were also increased by 10%.
Clinical Results of FDA Approved Omacor
Except for slightly increasing LDL levels in some individuals which take Omacor the dramatic reduction in Triglycerides, the overall cholesterol reduction, and the increase in HDL, suggest that consumption of Omega 3 has a positive effect on blood lipid values.
Not All Insurance Companies Include Omacor in their formularies
It would be nice if my insurance included Omacor in their formulary, but they don't.
Look at what Walgreen's charges for Omacor
A (one month supply) bottle with 120 one gram capsules is $165.99!
To cut my triglycerides in half using Omacor I'd need to take four capsules a day which means I'd be spending around $180 per month for that one product alone.
Omacor has been used in Europe for a decade, and is the only clinically tested, and FDA approved omega 3 product available. You can't buy it without a prescription.
There are other Omega 3 products available, including some that are very pure, and highly concentrated like Omacor which can be purchased over the counter. There are also products which are more affordable, but less concentrated like those in the photo above.
Why Take Omacor or Fish Oil in the age of Statins?
According to the American Cardiology Association the goal of reducing bad cholesterol (Low Density Lipoprotein) can be achieved through the use of Statins (e.g., Lipitor), however reducing bad cholesterol simply isn't enough to stop cardiovascular disease.
Despite the war on bad cholesterol over the last twenty years people are still dying of heart attacks - including those who take statins!
The first step is to reduce bad cholesterol, but good cholesterol (High Density Lipoprotein) levels need to be increased as well if heart attacks are to be prevented.
Good cholesterol is actually bad cholesterol which has been biochemically stripped away from the artery walls and is being carried out of the blood stream to the liver. The higher a person's good cholesterol level the cleaner their arteries.
Increasing HDLs is the only known means of reversing cardiovascular disease!
Taking Niacin, or Fish Oil (please consult your physician like I did prior to using either product) along with your Statin will actually reverse atherosclerosis.
Check this link which describes reduction in mortality due to use of Niacin, and Omega 3!