February is American Heart Month, reminding us─yet again─that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, about every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and nearly every minute, another will die from one.1
When it comes to heart disease, high triglyceride levels are one factor we can’t ignore.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of American
adults have elevated levels of triglycerides─fatty particles in the blood─which increase risk of
heart disease as well as metabolic syndrome─a dastardly combination of high blood pressure,
excess belly fat, high blood sugar, and low HDL ("good") cholesterol.
If you’re diagnosed with high triglycerides, along with scaling back on alcohol, quitting smoking, limiting fats and sweets, and losing weight, there’s one simple, highly effective step you can take to fight back. Did you guess it? Fish oil! A large body of research indicates that this omega- 3 rich oil is highly effective in combating high triglycerides.
A comprehensive review of human studies revealed that 4 daily grams of fish oil decreased serum triglyceride concentrations by 25% to 30%.2 Another study─part of a special issue entitled Triglyceride Metabolism and Disease─found that at 3-4 grams per day, fish oil was able to reduce triglyceride levels by 25-50% after only one month of treatment.3
If you’re currently in good health, supplementing fish oil at 1-2 grams a day will not only help control triglycerides, it can also reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome and many other components of cardiovascular disease. Take action now, your heart will thank you.
1 Roger V, Go, A, Lloyd-Jones, D, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2011 update. a report from the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Circulation 2011;123:e1- e192.
2 Harris WS. n-3 Fatty acids and serum lipoproteins: human studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997;65 (5 Suppl): 1645S–1654S.
3 Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Oct 25. [Epub ahead of print]