Triglyercides levels are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease
When it comes to risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes, most attention is paid to cholesterol levels but another very important measurement is triglyercides levels, as high levels increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation seen to manage high triglyceride levels
New research review focuses in on the use of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in helping manage high triglyceride levels. In the study, the researchers suggest 1 gram per day of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA + DHA) as the recommendation for patients with documented coronary heart disease but the optimal dosage appears to be 4 grams per day for those with high triglyceride levels. For people with very high triglyceride levels, 4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day decreased levels by 45% and increased HDL cholesterol levels by 9%. For subjects with high/very high levels, 4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day decreased TG levels by 45% and very low LDL cholesterol by 32%, while increasing HDL cholesterol levels by 13%.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation seen to be effective complimentary treatment for those taking statin drugs
Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation from krill oil also appears to be an effective complimentary treatment for people taking statin drugs. Specifically, 4 grams per day combined with 40 mg per day of a statin drug called simvastatin for 8 weeks significantly reduced triglyceride levels by 29.5% compared with taking simvastatin alone. In another study of another statin drug called atorvastatin, 4 grams per day of omega-3 fatty acids with 10 mg per day of atorvastatin reduced triglycerides by 45.4%, compared with a 26.9% reduction with atorvastatin alone.
Omega-3 fatty acids directly prevent triglycerides from being formed
Analysis of the possible mechanisms of how omega-3 fatty acids can optimise triglyceride levels identified the primary mechanism as being omega-3 fatty acids role in directly preventing triglycerides from being formed. Omega-3 fatty acids also act on the liver, decreasing the rate at which LDL cholesterol is formed. Omega-3 fatty acids also increase fat-burning, which makes less fatty acids available to become triglycerides. Researchers concluded “Management of high triglyceride levels represents a crucial step to reduce cardiovascular risk, and omega-3 fatty acid supplementation represents a valid approach to correct triglyceride levels, which are an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”
A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.