Broad-spectrum Cardiac Protection with Fish OilSeptember 2006
Fish Oil: Best Source of Omega-3s
Fish oil and cold-water fish are the most concentrated sources of EPA and DHA. A secondary, much less concentrated source is alpha-linolenic acid from flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts, and canola oil. However, only a small portion of ingested alpha-linolenic acid is converted into active EPA or DHA.26 Although linolenic acid may provide unique health benefits of its own, fish oil remains by far the most abundant source of heart-healthy omega-3s.
Success Story: Remarkable Changes in Stacy’s Blood Test Results
I advised Stacy to take 2700 mg of omega-3 fatty acids every day. She chose a low-potency, low-cost fish oil that required nine capsules to be consumed each day. She accomplished this by taking three capsules three times per day with meals. Stacy required more than most people, due to her unusually high triglycerides. Within several weeks, however, she was out of immediate danger: the omega-3s caused her triglycerides to plummet to 344 mg/dL.
Over the next few months, we counseled Stacy on reducing her intake of processed carbohydrates like crackers, pretzels, breakfast cereals, and other wheat-containing products. We also advised her to avoid high-fructose corn syrup, a common food additive that contributes to elevated triglyceride levels, and to reduce her weight by about 20 pounds. Stacy accomplished all this. Her most recent blood panel showed total cholesterol of 165 mg/dL, triglycerides of 144 mg/dL, HDL of 70 mg/dL, and LDL of 66 mg/dL.
Although an extreme case, Stacy’s experience demonstrates that omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA can form the foundation of a powerful strategy to dramatically reduce dangerously high blood lipid levels without the use of prescription drugs.
No prescription medication can provide the profound results that Stacy obtained from the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil. If we did not have fish oil at our disposal, she would have required at least three additional prescription medications and yet would have achieved less than 50% of the benefit.
If I were forced to choose one supplement to prevent heart disease, I would choose omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil without hesitation. When you witness the hidden genetic and acquired causes of heart disease that we identify in our heart disease-reversal program, you develop new respect for the power of fish oil. In many instances, fish oil not only corrects but eliminates these patterns. It has been responsible for much of our success.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids such as EPA and DHA protect cardiovascular health in myriad ways, combating several critically important cardiovascular risk factors.
Research clearly demonstrates that these crucial fats help prevent deadly heart arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Omega-3s show efficacy in fighting disease-provoking inflammatory processes and averting the insidious phenomenon of endothelial dysfunction. Omega-3 fatty acids have potent triglyceride-reducing effects and provide the additional benefit of reducing the after-meal flood of fat in the bloodstream, an emerging risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids help stabilize dangerous atherosclerotic plaque and prevent dangerous blood clots.
These multifaceted heart-protective effects of omega-3 fatty acids make fish oil part of the foundation of a nutritional strategy to guard against cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Dr. William Davis is an author, lecturer, and cardiologist practicing in Milwaukee, WI. He is founder of Track your Plaque, a heart disease-prevention program that shows how to use CT heart scans to control coronary plaque. He can be contacted through www.trackyourplaque.com.
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