If your Doctor recommends you take statin drugs for chronic heart failure you may want to give it a second thought. In a study conducted by Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell’Infarto Miocardico Heart Failure (GISSI-HF) trial and released for early online publication in the Lancet August 31, 2008. It showed that Omega 3 fatty acids (not any statin drugs) had a positive outcome for people with chronic heart failure. This finding is important because patients with chronic heart failure have few options for their condition.
The Italian researchers gave 3,494 heart failure patients 1 gram a day of omega 3 and roughly the same number received a placebo. The Parallel study gave 2,285 10 mg of a statin drug and about the same amount received placebos. After 3.9 hears the omega 3 fatty grouped had reduced mortality by 9% and hospital admission for cardio reason by 8% while the statin drugs had no similar effect.
Despite the fact that treatment that the statin lowered LDL cholesterol 27% at 3 years—the statin did not provide heart failure patients with the cardio-protective benefits delivered by omega-3 fatty acids.
Why do omega 3 fatty acids work? Because the cell membrane is where key metabolic enzymes are embedded and are largely composed of fats. The higher the DHA a component of fish oil, the more flexible the cell becomes and enzymes can maneuver efficiently. EPA is also a precursor of anti-inflammatory called eiconsaoids. Omega 3-s also increases levels of the good cholesterol HDL and stabilizes heart cells electrical system lessening the chance of heart arrhythmias.
In contrast statin drugs lower the LDL cholesterol, which may not have much impact on heart failure, while treatment with omega-3s an “effective, safe, simple, and cheap” option for patients with chronic heart failure.
Review authors noted that while target DHA and EPA consumption levels are about 1 gram/day for those with known coronary artery disease, and at least 500 mg/day for those without cardiovascular disease, patients with high triglycerides benefit from treatment with 3 to 4 grams/day of DHA and EPA, a dosage that lowers triglyceride levels by 20% to 50%.
As noted before in previous blog posts make sure that you are taking a good quality fish oil like Shaklee OmegaGuard. Unfortunantly as previous news has shown even those may say they contain no mercury or other contaminants is simply not true. Shaklee has been around for over 50 years an takes quality control very seriously.
See related post below on previous article on fish oil contamination and lack of good manufacturing practices.