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Nutrient - Omega 3 fats may improve statin efficacy

By Holly Taylor BSc(Hons) DipCNM MBANT NTCC

New evidence from a Korean study indicates that combining statins with omega 3 fatty acids may be more effective at managing raised blood lipid levels than using the drugs on their own.

The study included 50 participants with high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, who were randomly assigned to receive either standard statin therapy (20mg of simvastatin per day) or a combination of standard statin therapy plus 4g of omega 3 fish oil supplements each day. Blood samples were taken at the beginning of the study and after a 6-week intervention period so the scientists could monitor the participants blood lipid levels.

The test results showed that the 6-week combination of fish oil and statins reduced blood levels of triglycerides by 41.0 per cent, compared to just 13.9 per cent in the group receiving only the statin drugs. In addition, significant reductions were seen in the participant’s levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in both groups, while the levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol were not affected by either intervention.

Commenting on the results, the researchers stated: “The combination of omega 3 fatty acids plus simvastatin, which achieved a significantly greater reduction of triglycerides without adverse reactions, should be considered as an optimal treatment option for patients with mixed dyslipidemia,”

Article References

S-H. Kim et al. (2010) “Prospective randomized comparison between omega-3 fatty acid supplements plus simvastatin versus simvastatin alone in Korean patients with mixed dyslipidemia: lipoprotein profiles and heart rate variability” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. [Epub ahead of print]

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