Life Extension Magazine
The April 11 2005 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine published a review of the effects of various lipid lowering regimens on overall mortality and mortality from coronary heart disease. Researchers from Basel Institute for Clinical Epidemiology and University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland reviewed 97 clinical trials published between 1965 and 2003 that included 137,140 men and women being treated and 138,976 control subjects. The current analysis compared the association with mortality risk of diet, lipid lowering drugs categorized as statins, fibrates and resins, and the nutritional supplements omega-3 fatty acids (commonly found in fish oils) and niacin.
While the fibrate class of drugs failed to influence overall mortality and mildly elevated noncardiac mortality, and while diet, resins and niacin appeared to provide insignificant benefits, statins and omega-3 fatty acids significantly lowered both overall and coronary heart disease mortality risk during the trial periods. The risk of overall mortality was reduced by 13 percent by statins and 23 percent by omega-3 fatty acids compared to the risk experienced by those who did not receive treatment. When the risk of mortality from heart disease alone was analyzed, the use of statin drugs and omega-3 fatty acids were found to lower the risk by 22 and 32 percent, respectively.
The superiority of omega-3 acids in lowering the risk of overall and cardiac mortality cannot be explained by an ability to reduce cholesterol, which averaged 2 percent in this meta-analysis compared to an average reduction of 20 percent achieved via the use of statins. The protection provided by omega-3 fatty acids against heart arrhythmias, along with their antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory properties may be responsible for the mortality risk reduction suggested by this review.
Comment: This study shows us 2 things. First that fish oil omega 3's were almost twice as effective at lowering mortality rate of CHD than Statins were. Second, what I have been trying to teach for a very long time, that cholesterol is not what causes CHD, it is just a symptom of the fact that inflammation damage is occurring on the arterial walls. Treating symptoms is not the way to prevent CHD, treating the cause is. What is the cause then, thought you would never ask. The Linus Pauling Cure for Heart Disease.
Christopher Wiechert's Healthblogger is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional.