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Pass the omega 3 capsules, please

According to a new Danish study, triglyceride levels in the blood are to be more concerned about than cholesterol. Omega 3 fatty acids found in omega 3 capsules may come in handy due to their documented triglyceride-lowering effect. For decades an elevation in cholesterol levels has been one of the main cardiovascular threats. As a result of this cholesterol-lowering drugs are more widespread than ever.

The Copenhagen City Heart Study(1), conducted on 7,579 women and 6,372 men was published in the Annals of Neurology. It shows that concern should be with a different type of blood fat (triglycerides). The study by Anette Varbo, M.D. found an elevation in triglycerides levels increases the risk of ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke is the death of an area of the brain due to blocks in the arteries. Originally the association between cholesterol and ischemic stroke was only in men and those that had cholesterol levels exceeding 9mmol/l. Hence this is way above the levels that normally prompt physicians to write out prescriptions for cholesterol-lowering medicine.

The benefits of omega 3 capsules

There are different ways to keep your triglyceride levels down. Besides taking regular exercise and being selective with one’s diet, avoiding or limiting the intake of those foods and drinks that are known to spike triglyceride levels in the blood. A good idea is to eat more omega 3 fatty acids from fish due to their effectiveness against triglycerides.

A study(2) from Universtiy of Kuopio, Finland demonstrated this. Scientists compared eating 4-5 fish meals a week and taking omega 3 capsules daily (Bio-Marine Plus from Pharma Nord). The aim was to compare the triglyceride-lowering effect. Both the volunteers who ate fresh fish and those who took omega 3 capsules had significant reductions in their triglyceride levels after 15 weeks of treatment.


1 “Non-fasting Triglycerides, Cholesterol, and Ischemic Stroke in theGeneral Population”Annals of Neurology, published online ahead of print (DOI: 10.1002/ana.22384)

2 “Fish diet, fish oil and docosahexaenoic acid rich oil lower fasting and postprandial plasma lipid levels”Agren JJ, Hänninen O, Julkunen A, Fogelholm L, Vidgren H, Schwab U, Pynnönen O, Uusitupa M.Eur J Clin Nutr. 1996 Nov;50(11):765-71.

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