Fish Oils far superior to cholesterol-lowering drugs in preventing Heart Disease
In two separate studies involving over 12,000 patients, researchers compared the effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs to fish oil and found that the people in the fish oil group had between 29 and 32% fewer heart attacks, strokes and deaths than those who were taking Crestor® (rosuvastatin), a cholesterol-lowering statin drug.
The purpose of the study was to determine which worked better at preventing cardiovascular conditions, fish oil or cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins). The studies were funded and paid for by GlaxoSmith Kline, a pharmaceutical company that is introducing a new synthetic fish oil , high in Omega-3 fatty acids, sold only with a prescription under the name Lovaza®. In fact, if they were not trying to push this new prescription drug, we would probably never have seen a study that compares fish oil to statins, the best selling class of prescription drugs in the world.
The CORONA study included 5,011 patients 60 years old or older with ischemic systolic heart failure. Over 90% of the patients were taking two different types of blood pressure medication and a blood-thinner. The primary outcome was a nonfatal heart attack or stroke. Secondary outcome was death from any type of cardiovascular event. Half the patients received the cholesterol-lowering drug and the other half received the high potency synthetic fish oil. After 32.8 months, the levels of cholesterol were much lower in the group that took the drug, however the incidence of heart attack, stroke or death was 29% lower in the fish oil group.
The GISSI-HF study involved 6,975 heart failure patients. Over 90% of these patients were taking an ACE inhibitor or an Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB). Over 65% were taking a beta blocker. This study was carried on for almost 4 years and of course the group that took the statin drugs had much lower cholesterol levels than the fish oil group. However the fish oil group had 32% less heart attacks, strokes and deaths from cardiovascular events.
The researchers reasoned that the cause of higher incidence of cardiovascular events in the cholesterol-lowering group was a severe reduction of Co-Enzyme Q10 in the liver. Since all the cholesterol-lowering drugs belong to the same family, statin drugs, they all have the same effect on the liver. Besides reducing the production of HDL and LDL cholesterol they also reduce the production of Co-Enzyme Q10 by 50% or more. Because Co-Enzyme Q10 is so important for your heart health (provides increased arterial blood flow and is the body’s own natural antioxidant), this severe reduction among people that already had severe heart disease lead to a greater incidence of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular deaths.
It has always been my opinion that cholesterol-lowering drugs are merely a cash grab for the giant pharmaceutical companies and have zero effect in reducing heart attacks or strokes. However, if your physician insists that you take these drugs, you MUST use a Co-enzyme Q10 supplement, at least 100mg a day to offset the side-effects of these drugs.