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Is Prescription Fish Oil Better?

By    |   Friday, 10 Apr 2015 02:48 PM

Question: Is Lovaza better and safe for every one? I heard it can raise LDL cholesterol by 40 percent and carries a serious warning. But Vascepa, 96 percent pure EPA, lowers key lipids without raising LDL cholesterol.

Dr. Hibberd's answer:

The two prescription products you mention are very different agents. This is an apple-and-orange comparison.

Lovaza is as safe or safer than any fish oil preparation available, with the added safety of Food and Drug Administration regulation guaranteeing its purity and a lack of unwanted contaminants, seen with some fish oil preparations. You should use these products only after consulting your physician. Lovaza is available by prescription only.

Some people may require other agents to achieve their health goals. I prefer a fish oil preparation over a chemical agent that only blocks triglyceride, as extensive studies have found fish oil to be a preferred agent to reduce cardiac risk.

You should also know, there is no long-term data showing Vascepa helps reduce the risk of recurrent heart-bypass surgery and no studies indicating improved against heart disease. Vacepa is used to reduce triglycerides over 500 but has no apparent benefits to those with anything but extremely hight triglyceride elevations.

All fish oil preparations may initially raise LDL in the short term, but in the long run they reduce LDL and improve HDL. The best supplements have a mix of EPA and DHA, and Lovaza offers an ideal DHA/EPA mix designed to reduce cardiac and stroke risks. Also, no other product has FDA clearance with a 10-year-plus safety record.

I realize some people experience side effects on Lovaza, but I have been using it for years and have not encountered any of the problems sometimes seen with other fish oil preparations available without prescription.



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Dr-Hibberd
All forms of fish oil are healthful options.
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