I wanted to share so our readers live a long life.
Author: Kelly Young
Edited by André Sofair, MD, MPH
The American Heart Association concludes that prescription omega-3 fatty acids are an effective and safe treatment for lowering triglycerides either as a monotherapy or in combination with other lipid-lowering agents. The science advisory is published in Circulation.
Changes to diet and exercise, as well as identification of secondary causes of elevated triglycerides (e.g., hypothyroidism, poorly managed type 2 diabetes, excessive alcohol intake, several medications), should be attempted before prescribing omega-3s.
In 2002, the AHA recommended a total intake of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) at 2 to 4 grams a day for patients with elevated triglycerides. This included dietary intake and supplements.
The new statement recommends prescription EPA with or without DHA at 4 grams a day. Omega-3s at this dose are associated with a 20% to 30% triglyceride reduction for patients with high triglycerides. Reductions have been higher in patients with very high triglycerides (at least 500 mg/dL), but additional triglyceride-lowering agents may be recommended in this group to achieve levels under 500 mg/dL.