To Your Health
February, 2009 (Vol. 03, Issue 02)
Try Fish Oil Instead of Drugs
By Editorial Staff
Research suggests fish oil plays a valuable role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. It lowers triglycerides, slows hardening of the arteries and reduces blood pressure. Evidence also suggests fish oil improves health outcomes for people with heart disease, reducing their risk of heart attack, stroke and death. And yet cholesterol-lowering drugs remain a billion-dollar business.
But that might change soon, particularly if further research supports the findings of a recent Italian study published in the British journal Lancet. The study determined that daily fish oil supplements (omega-3 fatty acids) were superior to the popular prescription cholesterol-reducing drug Crestor (rosuvastatin calcium). Crestor is prescribed to adults with high cholesterol and has common side effects including headache, muscle pain, abdominal pain, weakness and nausea.
For four years, Italian researchers conducted two parallel studies of nearly 11,500 patients diagnosed with heart failure, comparing the effects of a prescription fish oil supplement to Crestor. Patients given a fish oil pill were less susceptible to hospitalization or death than those given Crestor.
Always check with your doctor before taking any supplements, as high doses of fish oil have been associated with increased risk of bleeding. And of course, an abundance of research already suggests an overall healthy lifestyle, complete with sound nutrition and consistent exercise, is an effective way to prevent heart disease and other conditions.