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Poll
In regards to fish oil consumption. chesk all that apply
I use fish oil capsules 2
I do not use fish oil capsules 8
I take it for my joint pains or arthritis 0
I take it for general health 0
I have had a heart attack or stroke and want to prevent another 0
I have never had a heart attack or stroke but would like to prevent one 0
My doctor recommended that I take fish oil capsules 1
I decided on my own to take fish oil capsules 2
Total Votes: 13
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JUst a quick poll. WHo here uses FIsh Oil Capsules and for what indication are you taking them
Posted: 04 March 2014 02:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Lois - 03 March 2014 11:30 PM
TimB - 03 March 2014 10:06 PM

When my cholesterol levels were first getting high, and my PCP spoke about medicine for it, I lobbied to try fish oil first.  I regularly took 2000 mg. daily.  My cholesterol levels improved, so my PCP suggested I continue with it.  I did for years, but in the past year I have rarely and sporadically taken it, and if I do, it’s only 1000 mg. I have just recently seen a new PCP for the 1st time, and am awaiting review of my lab work with him on the 2nd visit.  My guess is that my cholesterol will be high.  If so, my preference will be to try the regular high dose of fish oil again before trying a prescription that can damage my liver.

What is a PCP?

Primary Care Physician

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Posted: 04 March 2014 06:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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TimB - 03 March 2014 10:06 PM

When my cholesterol levels were first getting high, and my PCP spoke about medicine for it, I lobbied to try fish oil first.  I regularly took 2000 mg. daily.  My cholesterol levels improved, so my PCP suggested I continue with it.  I did for years, but in the past year I have rarely and sporadically taken it, and if I do, it’s only 1000 mg. I have just recently seen a new PCP for the 1st time, and am awaiting review of my lab work with him on the 2nd visit.  My guess is that my cholesterol will be high.  If so, my preference will be to try the regular high dose of fish oil again before trying a prescription that can damage my liver.

Tim its an unfortunate misunderstanding that many people have that statins can “damage your liver”. I have been in practice for over 23 years and treated many hundreds if not thousands of patients with statins during that time. Not one has ever developed “liver damage”. As with many myths there is a grain of truth to this one which has been exaggerated and misunderstood.

Statins like many other drugs ( and foods) are metabolized through the liver. A small minority of individuals may see a slight elevation of their enzyme levels as a result of taking statins but this can also be seen with many other medications that people frequently take and in fact the most common reason by far for elevated liver enzymes is diet. Too many carbs and calories often cause a condition known as fatty liver or NASH and this is far far more common than statin related liver enzyme elevations. Most physicians check statin users enzyme levels several times a year when they check the cholesterol levels. Minor elevations (2-3 times normal) are generally not a concern but if the levels are higher the doctor will usually stop the medication and the liver enzymes will return to normal.

I am not a big fan of using medications unless there is a good reason and a clear benefit but in this area I think there is no doubt that the benefits of statins in the right patients are significant. Fish oil on the other hand has not been shown to have such benefits. Here are the new guidelines for cholesterol treatment which are based more on cardiac risk than absolute cholesterol levels now.

“The four major primary- and secondary-prevention patient groups who should be treated with statins were identified on the basis of randomized, controlled clinical trials showing that the benefit of treatment outweighed the risk of adverse events. The four treatment groups include:

  Individuals with clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

  Individuals with LDL-cholesterol levels >190 mg/dL, such as those with familial hypercholesterolemia.

  Individuals with diabetes aged 40 to 75 years old with LDL-cholesterol levels between 70 and 189 mg/dL and without evidence of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

  Individuals without evidence of cardiovascular disease or diabetes but who have LDL-cholesterol levels between 70 and 189 mg/dL and a 10-year risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease >7.5%.”


Source:http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/814152

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Posted: 04 March 2014 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Tim,

The other thing to realize is that anything you take which has a beneficial effect on your health can also have risks. For some reason, people assume medical use of supplements like fish oil is safe because normal dietary intake of fish is safe, but that simply isn’t true. For example, fish oils have been linked to an increase risk of prostate cancer. Choosing one therapy over another is a matter of evaluating the current best evidence about risks and benefits, so comparing statins to fish oils means comparing the evidence of risks and benefits for each, not assuming one is safer because it is a supplement and the other more danegrous because it is a “drug.”

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Posted: 04 March 2014 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Lois - 03 March 2014 11:30 PM
TimB - 03 March 2014 10:06 PM

When my cholesterol levels were first getting high, and my PCP spoke about medicine for it, I lobbied to try fish oil first.  I regularly took 2000 mg. daily.  My cholesterol levels improved, so my PCP suggested I continue with it.  I did for years, but in the past year I have rarely and sporadically taken it, and if I do, it’s only 1000 mg. I have just recently seen a new PCP for the 1st time, and am awaiting review of my lab work with him on the 2nd visit.  My guess is that my cholesterol will be high.  If so, my preference will be to try the regular high dose of fish oil again before trying a prescription that can damage my liver.

What is a PCP?

Primary Care Physician

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Posted: 10 March 2014 09:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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TimB - 04 March 2014 05:47 PM
Lois - 03 March 2014 11:30 PM
TimB - 03 March 2014 10:06 PM

When my cholesterol levels were first getting high, and my PCP spoke about medicine for it, I lobbied to try fish oil first.  I regularly took 2000 mg. daily.  My cholesterol levels improved, so my PCP suggested I continue with it.  I did for years, but in the past year I have rarely and sporadically taken it, and if I do, it’s only 1000 mg. I have just recently seen a new PCP for the 1st time, and am awaiting review of my lab work with him on the 2nd visit.  My guess is that my cholesterol will be high.  If so, my preference will be to try the regular high dose of fish oil again before trying a prescription that can damage my liver.

What is a PCP?

Primary Care Physician

Thanks. i should have known that. Went right by me!  red face

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Posted: 15 March 2014 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I was visiting with sisters and mom recently and in telling stories we somehow got into that year when we kids were about 9ish and my Mom tells about her experience with Fish Oil.

Back when we was kids, didn’t have no fancy capsules!

My parents started making us kids take a spoonful Cod Liver Oil every week or month, whatever.
On doctor’s advice.
We hated it, it became an increasing ordeal.
Mom’s wanting to do the right thing, insisted, it was a German household, never any question who was boss.
We did our best, but she says it turned into a mutual nightmare every time she pulled the bottle out of the frig.
{all this I knew, what I didn’t know was…}
One day, she and Dad just finished getting the shit down our throats and they started talking, then decided to take a spoonful themselves.
She says they never again made us take that stuff.  I myself can still remember the taste.

I don’t do vitamins often, but seems to me fish oil is (was?) as good a way to get oil soluble vitamins as any, in a capsule!
But, now days with all the crap in the oceans, that seems a shakier notion all the time.
Fortunately, it’s few and far between that I feel a need to do any vitamins.

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Posted: 17 March 2014 12:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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My parents never gave it to us because my mom hated the taste. My dad used to make an unpalatable tea as a ‘flu cure’ until he came down with it and my mom forced him to drink it. That was the last time we ever saw it in the house!

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Posted: 17 March 2014 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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macgyver - 03 March 2014 01:20 PM

Fish oil capsules a pretty commonly used supplement and many physicians recommend them to their patients although I find even among doctors there is some confusion about the appropriate indications for their use. I’m curious how many forum readers take Fish Oil supplements, what they are being used for and whether they are being taken under the advice of a physician or self prescribed. Thanks

Sometimes my family or friends say that I should think seriously about using fish oil capsules for my schizophrenia, but I don’t because I am vegan. My vegan friends say that flaxseed oil would be just as good, but I’m told it doesn’t taste so great.

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Posted: 17 March 2014 05:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 15 March 2014 11:47 AM

... I don’t do vitamins often, but seems to me fish oil is (was?) as good a way to get oil soluble vitamins as any, in a capsule!
But, now days with all the crap in the oceans, that seems a shakier notion all the time.
Fortunately, it’s few and far between that I feel a need to do any vitamins.

Well, I’m back on the high doses of fish oil.  We’ll see, in a few months if their is a suppressant effect on my high cholesterol.  But your point about the “crap in the oceans”, makes me think that I should either get prescription level fish oil, or get checked for mercury levels.  Chances are, it won’t be long until I am on Lipitor for the rest of my life.

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Posted: 18 March 2014 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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TimB - 17 March 2014 05:57 PM

Well, I’m back on the high doses of fish oil.  We’ll see, in a few months if their is a suppressant effect on my high cholesterol.  But your point about the “crap in the oceans”, makes me think that I should either get prescription level fish oil, or get checked for mercury levels.  Chances are, it won’t be long until I am on Lipitor for the rest of my life.

Tim I dont really get why you think of Fish Oil as a better alternative. Lowering cholesterol is NOT the objective. Reducing heart attacks and strokes is. Lowering cholesterol in itself does not necessarily lead to fewer heart attacks. Fish Oil has not been shown to be effective in reducing heart attacks or strokes whereas statins have. Additionally there is nothing to support the idea that Fish Oil is necessarily safer in any way compared with the use of statins, and if cost is an issue ask your doctor about using Lovastatin ( Mevacor). A 90 day supply at Target or Walmart costs $10 even if you have no insurance.

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Posted: 18 March 2014 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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On the other side, I’m apparently strongly sensitive to statins.  My doctor put me on Zocor (sp?). Lipitor, Simvastatin, Lovastatin, and finally Livalo, all of which caused muscle pain.  Since he retired, I just joined Kaiser, and they are apparently considering high dosage niacin.  I have to go back and check this out, because I seem to recall avoiding it years ago because of some reported negative side effects.

Fish oil is cheap at Costco, and I figure it’s not enough calories to worry about.  smile

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Posted: 18 March 2014 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Not encouraging news from the latest meta-analysis looking at fatty acid supplements such as fish oils:

randomized trials of long-chain -3 and -6 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements suggests that supplementation with these nutrients does not statistically significantly reduce the risk for coronary outcomes. These updated findings are in line with an earlier meta-analysis that reported a lack of effect of -3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements on cardiovascular disease (22). Nonetheless, further trials are warranted because the available evidence is generally limited, especially in initially healthy populations; hence, there is considerable interest in a large randomized trial of long-chain -3 polyunsaturated supplements in cardiovascular disease prevention currently in progress (29).

Most of the trials evaluated, however, looked at people who already had cardiovascular diseases, so there is still a need for better data on primary prevention.

Rajiv Chowdhury, MD, PhD; Samantha Warnakula, MPhil*; Setor Kunutsor, MD, MSt*; Francesca Crowe, PhD; Heather A. Ward, PhD; Laura Johnson, PhD; Oscar H. Franco, MD, PhD; Adam S. Butterworth, PhD; Nita G. Forouhi, MRCP, PhD; Simon G. Thompson, FMedSci; Kay-Tee Khaw, FMedSci; Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH; John Danesh, FRCP*; and Emanuele Di Angelantonio, MD, PhD. Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2014;160:398-406.

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Posted: 18 March 2014 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Agreed, I think the best advice anyone can give to someone who wants to lower their risk of heart disease and stroke short of going on medication is to substitute some of their current source of animal protein with more fish and leave the fish oil capsules on the shelf.

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Posted: 18 March 2014 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Actually, the best, agreed upon, advice is lifestyle change: e.g.,  eat more fruits and vegetables and lean protein (less sugary and fatty foods) - exercise regularly - less time sitting in front of screens -  and don’t smoke.

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Posted: 20 March 2014 02:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Hi mcgyver,

If reducing cholesterol is not the objective in prevention of heart disease (and thus heart attacks), then how would statins help, as they are cholesterol lowering medications (and triglycerides as well)? 

macgyver - 18 March 2014 09:59 AM
TimB - 17 March 2014 05:57 PM

Well, I’m back on the high doses of fish oil.  We’ll see, in a few months if their is a suppressant effect on my high cholesterol.  But your point about the “crap in the oceans”, makes me think that I should either get prescription level fish oil, or get checked for mercury levels.  Chances are, it won’t be long until I am on Lipitor for the rest of my life.

Tim I dont really get why you think of Fish Oil as a better alternative. Lowering cholesterol is NOT the objective. Reducing heart attacks and strokes is. Lowering cholesterol in itself does not necessarily lead to fewer heart attacks. Fish Oil has not been shown to be effective in reducing heart attacks or strokes whereas statins have. Additionally there is nothing to support the idea that Fish Oil is necessarily safer in any way compared with the use of statins, and if cost is an issue ask your doctor about using Lovastatin ( Mevacor). A 90 day supply at Target or Walmart costs $10 even if you have no insurance.

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