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by lylesg / March 16, 2009 2:36 PM PDT

Has anybody here tried fish oil, krill oil, or another similar supplement for reducing high cholesterol in lieu of the typical Rx's?

Krill oil seems to be working for me.

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try some Cod Liver Oil
by James Denison / March 16, 2009 2:45 PM PDT
In reply to: Cholesterol....

My mom grew up on it. Hated it.

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It's funny you mentioned that stuff ...
by lylesg / March 16, 2009 2:54 PM PDT
In reply to: try some Cod Liver Oil

my mother believed in Cod Liver Oil and Carters Liver Pills. I have read of the good effects and omega 3's coming from that foul tasting stuff. However, I am not sure what the mercury content of cod liver oil would be now days. I do eat a lot of wild caught salmon (Pacific Pink) as it has virtually 0% mercury/pollutants.

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Don't like the taste?
by Dan McC / March 16, 2009 3:14 PM PDT

Get your cod liver oil in capsules.


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I take fish oil, but ...
by Bill Osler / March 16, 2009 9:15 PM PDT
In reply to: Cholesterol....

You need to be aware of some details if you want to use supplements like these. We frequently talk about 'cholesterol' and the need to 'lower cholesterol' but cholesterol occurs in multiple forms in the body, and you don't necessarily want to lower all of the forms. Patient with 'cholesterol problems' may have very different lipid profiles and there is no one medication or supplement that is appropriate for all of them.

I'm not terribly familiar with krill oil, and most of the data that I've seen about it are directly or indirectly derived from the manufacturer (I think it's Neptune Technologies) so there are some questions about reliability and bias. I don't think there is enough solid data to say much about whether or not it has any special benefit in comparison with some other product.

Fish oil is useful for lowering triglycerides (a form of fat in the blood) but it may actually worsen some other things related to cholesterol so it is not necessarily a replacement for other cholesterol lowering substances.

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Hey, Doc
by Dan McC / March 16, 2009 9:39 PM PDT

What's your take on the recent studies of the importance of cholesterol particle size distribution as a factor in health?


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Not sure what you mean by recent but ...
by Bill Osler / March 16, 2009 11:12 PM PDT
In reply to: Hey, Doc

I do not believe that any of the science around medical implications of LDL and HDL particle size is really settled at this point. Until we get solid data that point to interventions based on particle size that have proven benefit at reducing MI or sudden death or similar firm endpoint I am not likely to get excited about particle size measurement.

Unfortunately that same caveat applies to other cholesterol management strategies. I'm fairly convinced that statins are useful for cholesterol management, but I am not completely convinced that their beneficial effects are totally related to cholesterol reduction. They also have anti-inflammatory effects and there may be other things going on as well. I was one of the last physicians in my area to start aggressively treating cholesterol with medication because I was not happy with the end-point data for a long time. I'm still not convinced we have adequate end-point data for some of the non-statin medications used to lower cholesterol.

I am constantly amazed at how hard it is to get solid, reliable answers to simple, obvious questions in medicine.

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Omega-3 to reduce blood triglyceride levels
by jonah jones / March 16, 2009 11:46 PM PDT
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I tried fish oil...
by lylesg / March 17, 2009 12:08 AM PDT

but my stomach/system doesn't tolerate it very well (horrible reflux) and I take only one krill oil pill a day instead of taking 3 fish oil pills with no reflux/burp problems.

You're right about the manufacturers promoting the product, but there are other independent studies that are very supportive of its benefits and krill oil is very rich in an antioxidant called astaxanthin, too. I've been taking a Krill Oil pill since early January and with good results so far. Within a period of 6 weeks my over all cholesterol dropped from 274 down to 201 and my trig's dropped from 224 down to 122. My HDL held at 42. Now, I also made changes in my diet and that alone may be responsible for much of the decrease. My exercise level is pretty constant. Also, I have decreased my beef and pork intake while increasing the amount of fish in my diet. I also eat some chicken breasts once, or twice a week. I mostly eat wild caught salmon (not the farmed raised product) and I eat at least one can of sardines each week that are packed in either spring water, or olive oil. I have a hypothyroid condition, so I avoid the sardines packed in soy oil. I have also dropped approximately 15 lbs in weight and am now within the ideal weight range for my body height.
A couple of years ago I tried a couple of different Rx?s, but I found that I could not tolerate the statin drugs very well.

Thanks for your input, I?m very curious about it all right now.  Also, do you have an opinion to share on taking a low dose asprin daily - along with the extra omega 3 supplement?
I do most of my health research at About.com - http://altmedicine.about.com/od/herbsupplementguide/a/krilloil.htm


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by Angeline Booher / March 17, 2009 1:14 AM PDT
In reply to: I tried fish oil...

(First, good to see you back!)

I take 1200 mg fish oil twice a day to reduce that ornery blood fat, I was never told it would reduce the cholesterol level.

BULLETIN! One can now buy fish oil with no after taste. It is sold on the same shelf at my drugstore as the regular.

You actually should ask your doctor re: the aspirin. With that in mind, the general rule appears to be that we should take the 81 mg aspirin every day. Most brands sell the pills that are coated. (Easier on the stomach.)

Aspirin works in an entirely different way than the "good" oils.

I take the low dose aspirin every day, along with the fish oili (omega 3). I use olive oil, eat fish, lots of grains and fiber, almonds and flax seed to help raise the "good" and lower the "bad" cholesterol, but also take Lipitor. Also keep my weight under control.

An article on Omega-3


Article on low dose asirin


IMO, the best approach is to first have a good face-to-face with your primary care provider.

Speakeasy Moderator

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So far.....
by lylesg / March 17, 2009 2:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Response

krill oil seems to be working fine for me and I only have to take one jel a day as it's three times more potent than fish oil. My GP is supportive of it, too, especially now that my lab tests are looking much better.

About the omega 3 supplements and asprin (any blood thinner), it's not recommended to combine the two usually. There is a lot of info on the WWW concerning the side effects of doing so and if the two are combined there should be a hi-lighted notation in ones medical file. It?s recommended that free bleeders be especially careful while taking omega 3 supplements.

Like anything else there are different quality omega 3 supplements on the shelves the less polluted and higher quality fish oils come from the northern waters. Also, certain species of fish carry more pollutants than others and generally tuna is one example of a fish with a high mercury concentration.

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(NT) Thank you.
by lylesg / March 17, 2009 2:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Response
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As luck would have it ...
by Bill Osler / March 17, 2009 4:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Response

There is a revised recommendation regarding aspirin that has recently been published. Unfortunately it is a bit complex and that will probably limit its utility:
Takehome message: Whether or not to recommend aspirin depends on age, gender, risk factors and medical history.

I do agree that talking to a primary care physician (in most cases) or (in complex cases) a cardiologist makes good sense.

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Thanks for posting that link
by lylesg / March 17, 2009 6:06 AM PDT

about asprin. I am 56, male and the only medication I take regularly is Levoxyl. In-fact, my Dr. just reduced that from 125 down to 112. My B/P has dropped down to 183/77 +/-. My Dr. leaves the asprin consumption up to me, so I'm leaving it off for the time being. I enjoy cayanne (red pepper) and I eat quite a bit of that with some of my foods, so my intestional tract might like me more if I leave off the asprin. Happy

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It's ultimately your call, but consider this:
by Bill Osler / March 17, 2009 10:41 AM PDT

If you are a 56 y/o male with a BP of 183/77 then even if you don't smoke and don't have diabetes and are not overweight your estimated 10 year risk of heart attack is about 13% (calculated without knowing your cholesterol which was presumably high if you are using the krill oil so the estimated risk is probably low)
The risk calculator I used is at:
Aspirin would generally be recommended for men in your age group with risk exceeding 4%.
I doubt that cayenne raises the GI bleed risk enough to even the odds out.

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by lylesg / March 17, 2009 12:10 PM PDT

I bookmarked the calculator site. Hopefully, my B/P will continue to improve as well as my cholesterol numbers.

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I have no idea.......
by lylesg / March 17, 2009 11:07 PM PDT

why I typed 183 as my systolic pressure. My systolic pressure has been around 126. The last check at my Dr's office was 126/77, but usually my diastolic is higher and around the middle 80's. Maybe I need ginko biloba more than anything else. lol

I'm still at around 10% according to the calculator. My HDL was 42 last check and I've increased my veggie and fruit intake since hoping to get that number back up to around 50.

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It's hard to say how much is from the oil
by Bill Osler / March 17, 2009 4:47 AM PDT
In reply to: I tried fish oil...

It sounds like you have made fairly significant lifestyle changes. Under the circumstances it is not really possible to say how much of the cholesterol change is due to any specific cause.

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Krill Oil 48x Better Than Fish Oil.
by albaanderson86 / March 22, 2010 2:37 PM PDT
In reply to: Cholesterol....

Krill oil contains the vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin D and canthaxanthin, which is ? like astaxanthin ? a potent anti-oxidant. The anti-oxidant potency of krill oil is such that when compared to fish oil in terms of ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorptance Capacity) values, it was found to be 48 times more potent than fish oil.For more further information you can link to website http://www.cholesterol-hdl-ldl.com/high-cholesterol-foods.html

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quit eating meat
by James Denison / March 22, 2010 2:56 PM PDT
In reply to: Cholesterol....

and your cholesterol will go down. You'd need to cut out butter and other dairy fats, and hydrogenated oils. Flaxseed oil is supposedly good for helping with cholesterol.

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There is an abundance of reliable information
by Angeline Booher / March 23, 2010 12:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Cholesterol....

....... on the internet. Stick with those with an excellent reputation, like WebMD, as there is also a lot of bad information and myths.

Your doctor is also a good source. "Cholesterol" has different factors, and lowering one can raise another.


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I take 1kg oil pills
by Willy / March 23, 2010 4:54 AM PDT
In reply to: Cholesterol....

Since taking heart pills for this and that, advised to take the fish oil pills in order to help produce "good cholesterol". The Omega-3 factors in as being better than not having it. The results vary, but they seem to be mounting on the plus side for me. Its the Omega-3 factor that fish oil makes good for you. However, if you intake natural foods that have some Omega-3s isn't a bad idea. Check out Good Health magazine website for insight on the topic or similar. I think a side benefit of not being constipated is darn good as well. Wink -----Willy Happy

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Get your fish oil this way
by Steven Haninger / March 23, 2010 5:22 AM PDT
In reply to: I take 1kg oil pills
Jif w/Omega-3

So maybe if Elvis used this to make his peanut butter and 'nanner sammiches he'd be alive today. Happy
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Peanut Butter, yea!
by Willy / March 23, 2010 7:39 AM PDT

Since, I'm a poor folk, I tend to eat more peanut butter now. Having a daily 1-2 sandwiches of chunky pb&jelly is such a treat. However, the jelly side is too sugary, though I try to lessen it. I do however I'm in trying honey now as well for sugar instead for coffee, etc.. I'm trying at least to look into alternatives but don't count me as "green" or such but frugal.

You don't know how hard it is to shop at the grocery store and return an item picked by habit and/or bite my tongue knowing I can't have that anymore. grrrr! -----Willy :?

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If you're moving to honey
by Roger NC / March 25, 2010 10:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Peanut Butter, yea!

for whatever reason, there are claims that eating locally produced honey will lessen allergic responses to local pollens.

How real this is, who knows, but I've read or heard of it from more than one source. So if you do eat honey anyway, maybe local is better.

But isn't honey as much or more expensive than sugar? and about as high in calories?

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Honey price...
by J. Vega / March 26, 2010 12:22 AM PDT

Refined sugar runs roughly 40 cents per pound wholesale. Wholesale price for honey varies widely, depending on the type. Very roughly, most of it runs $1 or more a pound. Here's a link that shows wholesale prices for different types of honey:

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by Willy / March 26, 2010 1:22 AM PDT

Honey comes in so many forms or sources as it were. The local or seemly made every yr. sorta thing is pretty much in this area, reasonable. While, I never counted the cost being new in trying it, I find when compared to sugar used somewhat less. I read that honey and cinnamon provide big health benefits. Since, I also enjoy cinnamon as well with oatmeal and the honey, WOW I should be a Superman. Regardless, if there are big benefits maybe simply healthy is a good thing since my intake remains the same, though from a different source, honey vs. sugar. yada yada But, I'm not going to the health food store and buy bottles of this or that its what at my local grocers or drug store. Happy -----Willy

BTW, got a head cold since the weather changed from spring to minor winter with snow here. Man, I got sick quick. I always was a person to be sick when changing from place to place(flying) if weather very different.

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