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Fish oil for high tryclericides
Apr 15, 2007

There were two new studies about fish oil. One from Japan in lancet and the other a French study. I know you also did a study. I'm trying to figure out if I should start taking fish oil and how much. The French study I think had patients on 2 pills of 1,000 mg each 3 times daily (total 6,000 mg a day?) That seems an awful lot to commit to. Is it your experience that someone with high tryclericides also taking statins will benefit from this much?

Response from Dr. Wohl

Fish oil can reduce triglyceride levels in HIV+ folk. The higher the dose, the greater the effect. The problem is that dosing of fish oil is not completely straightforward. There are two components of fish oil that need to be added when looking at total dose. These are EPA and DHA. These should add up to the dose of fish oil you are trying to take.

The higher the triglycerides, the higher the dose of fish oil that may be needed to do the job. The minimal dose is 1 gram mg (equals 1000 miligrams). That is a low dose. A dose of 3 grams a day is more likely to provide a meaningful benefit and this is teh dose we studied.

A recent study from the US that will soon be published used 6 grams a day (6000 miligrams). This worked very well and was well tolerated. I would not go over 6 grams a day as higher dose have more side effects and have not been studied.

Remember, you need to look at EPA and DHA and add these together when calculating the dose of fish oil. The dose should be split up into three doses taken after meals.

Statins help treat high cholesterol. They are not as effective in lowering triglycerides.

DW



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