T Nation

Fish Oil Success Story

Just thought I would share a quick story. My dad has had high cholesterol for quite some time. He takes medication for it, but I’ve never been comfortable with the medication because I see it as a temporary solution. He finally showed some motivation to clean up his diet and lose some weight, so I got him taking fish oil.

He just got back from the doctor and all his levels are normal. The greatest change was his triglyceride level (not sure what that is) was over 500 and is now 152 (normal range). The doctor attributed most of the improvement to the fish oil and admitted that she should have had him taking it the whole time. It has been so effective that I think my mom may even start taking fish oil as well.

thats good to hear. just out of curiosity, how much fish oil was he supplementing with?

[quote]amdl3k wrote:
thats good to hear. just out of curiosity, how much fish oil was he supplementing with?[/quote]

And for how long before his test?

From Dr. Mercola’s web site:

[i]"The omega-3 fats in fish oil will influence your HDL cholesterol levels far more safely and effectively than taking a pill will – and for a small fraction of the cost, typically even less than the copayment to purchase the expensive medications.

"Just remember Pfizer is on track to make $13 billion this year from selling Lipitor, which is up 11% from last year. A 30 day supply of the 10 mg pill is $90 while the 20 mg is $130. Of course anyone with half a brain who was taking the 10 mg could get a 20 mg dose, cut it in half and cut their drug bill by 25%, but since most of the drug bill is paid by insurance companies, very few people do this.

"Lipitor is not only less effective and more costly, but it stands a good chance of depressing your immune system and even increasing your risk of atherosclerosis.

"Statin drugs like Lipitor may treat one symptom by lowering your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, but they do nothing whatsoever to treat the underlying disease, which is causing the problem in the first place. That’s the same as putting a band-aid on an infected wound – it might stop the bleeding, but it won’t solve the real problem.

"And in addition to doing you no good, they also actively cause you harm. Statins kill people – lots of people – and they wound many, many more.

"For example, taking statins eventually depletes important Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) levels, which can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, soreness and heart failure.

"So why risk your health by taking drugs when there are very simple things you can do to normalize your cholesterol levels?

"Regular exercise is one important tool that may reduce your risk of heart disease, as it effectively addresses one of the primary reasons nearly everyone’s cholesterol becomes inappropriately elevated, and that is elevated insulin levels.

"You can also lower your insulin levels by eliminating sugar and grains. Grains rapidly break down to sugars that increase your insulin levels. And, for most people with high cholesterol levels, the primary reason is high insulin levels. This approach normalizes cholesterol levels in nearly everyone – unless they have a genetic defect called familial hypercholsterolemia.

“Eliminating sugar and grains will also normalize your weight, increase your energy and lower your blood pressure and triglycerides.” [/i]

Olive oil is also helpful at normalizing cholesterol levels. It raises HDL (“good” cholesterol) while lowering LDL ("bad cholesterol). Consuming both are an unbeatable combination!!!

I wanted him to take more, but we compromised with 3-4 capsules a day. He started taking them probably 6 weeks before his most recent test. I wouldn’t have guessed they would have dropped that low that fast, but that seems to be the only significant factor that was changed.

His weight/diet had been consistent since his last test, and he hasn’t had any significant lifestyle changes that I can tell.

[quote]Tampa-Terry wrote:
From Dr. Mercola’s web site:

[i]"The omega-3 fats in fish oil will influence your HDL cholesterol levels far more safely and effectively than taking a pill will – and for a small fraction of the cost, typically even less than the copayment to purchase the expensive medications.

"Just remember Pfizer is on track to make $13 billion this year from selling Lipitor, which is up 11% from last year. A 30 day supply of the 10 mg pill is $90 while the 20 mg is $130. Of course anyone with half a brain who was taking the 10 mg could get a 20 mg dose, cut it in half and cut their drug bill by 25%, but since most of the drug bill is paid by insurance companies, very few people do this.

"Lipitor is not only less effective and more costly, but it stands a good chance of depressing your immune system and even increasing your risk of atherosclerosis.

"Statin drugs like Lipitor may treat one symptom by lowering your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, but they do nothing whatsoever to treat the underlying disease, which is causing the problem in the first place. That’s the same as putting a band-aid on an infected wound – it might stop the bleeding, but it won’t solve the real problem.

"And in addition to doing you no good, they also actively cause you harm. Statins kill people – lots of people – and they wound many, many more.

"For example, taking statins eventually depletes important Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) levels, which can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, soreness and heart failure.

"So why risk your health by taking drugs when there are very simple things you can do to normalize your cholesterol levels?

"Regular exercise is one important tool that may reduce your risk of heart disease, as it effectively addresses one of the primary reasons nearly everyone’s cholesterol becomes inappropriately elevated, and that is elevated insulin levels.

"You can also lower your insulin levels by eliminating sugar and grains. Grains rapidly break down to sugars that increase your insulin levels. And, for most people with high cholesterol levels, the primary reason is high insulin levels. This approach normalizes cholesterol levels in nearly everyone – unless they have a genetic defect called familial hypercholsterolemia.

“Eliminating sugar and grains will also normalize your weight, increase your energy and lower your blood pressure and triglycerides.” [/i]

Olive oil is also helpful at normalizing cholesterol levels. It raises HDL (“good” cholesterol) while lowering LDL ("bad cholesterol). Consuming both are an unbeatable combination!!![/quote]

Good info Tampa. I consume a lot of olive oil as well, but I’m trying to take one step at a time with my dad. Because it’s pretty expensive, I tried fish oil first.

On a slightly related note, I was pretty sneeky in getting him stared with fish oil. I owed him 10 bucks from a bet and paid him by going to the store and buying a couple bottles of generic fish oil.

Congrats bro thats great news

Phill

[quote]BigAlSwede wrote:
Tampa-Terry wrote:
From Dr. Mercola’s web site:

[i]"The omega-3 fats in fish oil will influence your HDL cholesterol levels far more safely and effectively than taking a pill will – and for a small fraction of the cost, typically even less than the copayment to purchase the expensive medications.

"Just remember Pfizer is on track to make $13 billion this year from selling Lipitor, which is up 11% from last year. A 30 day supply of the 10 mg pill is $90 while the 20 mg is $130. Of course anyone with half a brain who was taking the 10 mg could get a 20 mg dose, cut it in half and cut their drug bill by 25%, but since most of the drug bill is paid by insurance companies, very few people do this.

"Lipitor is not only less effective and more costly, but it stands a good chance of depressing your immune system and even increasing your risk of atherosclerosis.

"Statin drugs like Lipitor may treat one symptom by lowering your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, but they do nothing whatsoever to treat the underlying disease, which is causing the problem in the first place. That’s the same as putting a band-aid on an infected wound – it might stop the bleeding, but it won’t solve the real problem.

"And in addition to doing you no good, they also actively cause you harm. Statins kill people – lots of people – and they wound many, many more.

"For example, taking statins eventually depletes important Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) levels, which can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, soreness and heart failure.

"So why risk your health by taking drugs when there are very simple things you can do to normalize your cholesterol levels?

"Regular exercise is one important tool that may reduce your risk of heart disease, as it effectively addresses one of the primary reasons nearly everyone’s cholesterol becomes inappropriately elevated, and that is elevated insulin levels.

"You can also lower your insulin levels by eliminating sugar and grains. Grains rapidly break down to sugars that increase your insulin levels. And, for most people with high cholesterol levels, the primary reason is high insulin levels. This approach normalizes cholesterol levels in nearly everyone – unless they have a genetic defect called familial hypercholsterolemia.

“Eliminating sugar and grains will also normalize your weight, increase your energy and lower your blood pressure and triglycerides.” [/i]

Olive oil is also helpful at normalizing cholesterol levels. It raises HDL (“good” cholesterol) while lowering LDL ("bad cholesterol). Consuming both are an unbeatable combination!!!

Good info Tampa. I consume a lot of olive oil as well, but I’m trying to take one step at a time with my dad. Because it’s pretty expensive, I tried fish oil first.

On a slightly related note, I was pretty sneeky in getting him stared with fish oil. I owed him 10 bucks from a bet and paid him by going to the store and buying a couple bottles of generic fish oil. [/quote]

Good to hear. Remind him to increase his produce intake and keep away from the refined sugar and white flour, etc. Insulin regulation is a MAJOR factor too.

Did he stop taking is medication some time before retaking is blood tests and did he loose weight and exercice?

Generally speaking only the triglyceride component can be readily attributed to the fish oils as their effect on most lipid profiles are largely negligible in most RTC. n-3 EFAs are however very potent triglyceride reducers in a dose depedant fashion.

As new research comes out, n-3 fatty acids seem to be far less promising/silver bullet/miracle cure then we tought they would be less then 10 years ago.

Whatever the reason, glad to her your dad’s doing better cholesterol-wise.

AlexH

I believe he is still on his medication, but he could have been taken off this time. We talked only briefly today about it.

He had increased exercise (still quite negligible), improved his diet, and lost weight before being tested with still high numbers.

I then got him convinced to try fish oil. After (approximately) six weeks, he got his better numbers. Could maybe some of the improvement be that it had just taken that long for the numbers to improve from his diet/exercise alone? Either way, I’m not going to even bring it up with him. That’d just give him an argument why he shouldn’t take the fish oil.

Good job.

I have a hard time convincing my father to do anything that could help him out. He wont take supplements or medications or exercice.

If I ever convince him to use one thing, it will probabaly be fish oil.

As for my father-in-law, he only trusts doctors and of course they dont tell him to clean his diet or exercice. They just put him on multiple pills for the rest of his life…

Man I hope I’m still open minded and trust my sons in the future!!! It’s so painfully frustrating to see loved ones wither away while you have many tools to help them…

[quote]SwD wrote:
Good job.

I have a hard time convincing my father to do anything that could help him out. He wont take supplements or medications or exercice.

If I ever convince him to use one thing, it will probabaly be fish oil.

As for my father-in-law, he only trusts doctors and of course they dont tell him to clean his diet or exercice. They just put him on multiple pills for the rest of his life…

Man I hope I’m still open minded and trust my sons in the future!!! It’s so painfully frustrating to see loved ones wither away while you have many tools to help them…

[/quote]

my dad is the same way as your step father. he does excercise regularly, both with weights and biking. he used to run but it hurts his knees now.

he’ll take spin classes twice a week, lift three times and ride a real bike 80 miles every saturday. i can’t even do it with him it is pretty embarrassing.

but, his cholesterol is still high for some reason and his dad died from heart complications related to blood pressure though he was thin as a rail.

he takes medicine for it but won’t even consider fish oil, even as just an addition.

really, he thinks most supplements are garbage, even protein powder!!! i’ve never understood how he can’t see protein powder as helpful.

he used to be a pretty buff guy when he was younger, but he says he’ll just eat food and be fine, which is true but is frustrating when his food is steak, potatoes and other meats cooked in unhealthy ways.

he knows how to build muscle and stay in performance shape, but definately doesn’t think much of the nutrition side of it all.

and he too won’t listen to anyone other than a doctor giving him pills.

and to top it off, he is half way through his fifties and becoming a stubborn know it all.

[quote]SwD wrote:
Good job.

I have a hard time convincing my father to do anything that could help him out. He wont take supplements or medications or exercice.

If I ever convince him to use one thing, it will probabaly be fish oil.

As for my father-in-law, he only trusts doctors and of course they dont tell him to clean his diet or exercice. They just put him on multiple pills for the rest of his life…

Man I hope I’m still open minded and trust my sons in the future!!! It’s so painfully frustrating to see loved ones wither away while you have many tools to help them…

[/quote]

I feel ya. My parents won’t do a thing to help themselves, much to my chagrine. Kinda makes me feel like a failure if I can’t even convince those closest to me that their lifestyle/diet is the reason they feel like shit all the time. They are literally killing themselves with pigheaded apathy.

DJ

I’ve never quite understood why a large portion of this board seems to (unreasonably) hate MDs - Do you really think that a doctor will not tell a patient to diet and exercise and instead prescribe a pill?

Both my parents are primary care physicians, and they bitch all the time about how people will never listen to that simple advice and always want a magic pill or medicine. Patients will act insulted and become upset when they are told to exercise. Are we even in the same universe?

Well show him this thread…maybe scratch out the stubborn know it all comment. What I did to get my father interested in fish oil was introduce him to Mauro Di Pasquales writings…when he placed some faith on that I hit him with Mauro’s opinion on fish oil. Looks like it worked.

OMC

[quote]texasguy wrote:

my dad is the same way as your step father. he does excercise regularly, both with weights and biking. he used to run but it hurts his knees now.

he’ll take spin classes twice a week, lift three times and ride a real bike 80 miles every saturday. i can’t even do it with him it is pretty embarrassing.

but, his cholesterol is still high for some reason and his dad died from heart complications related to blood pressure though he was thin as a rail.

he takes medicine for it but won’t even consider fish oil, even as just an addition.

really, he thinks most supplements are garbage, even protein powder!!! i’ve never understood how he can’t see protein powder as helpful.

he used to be a pretty buff guy when he was younger, but he says he’ll just eat food and be fine, which is true but is frustrating when his food is steak, potatoes and other meats cooked in unhealthy ways.

he knows how to build muscle and stay in performance shape, but definately doesn’t think much of the nutrition side of it all.

and he too won’t listen to anyone other than a doctor giving him pills.

and to top it off, he is half way through his fifties and becoming a stubborn know it all.

[/quote]

[quote]LoneLobo wrote:
I’ve never quite understood why a large portion of this board seems to (unreasonably) hate MDs - Do you really think that a doctor will not tell a patient to diet and exercise and instead prescribe a pill?

Both my parents are primary care physicians, and they bitch all the time about how people will never listen to that simple advice and always want a magic pill or medicine. Patients will act insulted and become upset when they are told to exercise. Are we even in the same universe?[/quote]

LOL when you start to gain a broader knowledge base of all things medicine, especially endocrinology related medicine, you will see them for what they are, which is NOT all knowing god like people, but normal people of normal intelligence that can easily become practically useless with the exception of emergency situations.

The very fact that it only took me a year or so to completely blow away every endo Ive spoken with on all matters HRT related troubles me still to this day, and it should you as well.

“I feel ya. My parents won’t do a thing to help themselves, much to my chagrine. Kinda makes me feel like a failure if I can’t even convince those closest to me that their lifestyle/diet is the reason they feel like shit all the time. They are literally killing themselves with pigheaded apathy.”

Wow. Worded perfectly.

As for “hating MDs”, I dont know where you get that from this thread, but while your parents may be troubled by how tons of patients wont do shit except wait for the magic pill, it has become also that many doctors wont recommand anything but pills - and they themsleves often dont know squat about nutrition or exercice.

I find modern medicine to be simply amazing at some elements (like heart surgery for exemple), yet woefully inept at overall patient health.