Omega 3 fish oils enhanced the efficacy of Statin drugs

This was the headline in an article by Stephen Daniells of Nutraingredients which we have reproduced below.

In a nutshell, researchers found that by combining high dose Omega 3 fish oil with a cholesterol lowering statin drug that the reduction in triglycerides was quite dramatic.

But…that is no surprise as that is what high dose fish oil does! I can’t quite figure out the logic for this study as it only reinforces what is already known which is statins have very little effect on triglycerides but Omega 3 fish oils do.
I only mention this study because I know that we have many readers who are still on statin drugs through the pressure of their Doctors. The study at least confirms that it is not only safe to combine the Omega 3 fish oil with the statins but beneficial.

Remember though if you are on a statin drug that your body’s supply of CoQ10 is being depleted which in turn will lead to serious problems. So, if you are taking a statin drug please ensure that you use our Premium QH CoQ10 version of our Omega 3 fish oil because it contains Ubiqui(nol) (CoQ10). This is the genuine Kaneka Ubiqui(nol) and must not be confused with the 'normal' CoQ10 in the market place which is called Ubiquinone.

The Ubquinol is the non-oxidised form of CoQ10 and significantly more effective than the ordinary form which is oxidised and the body has to convert to Ubiqui(nol) which is why only a very small percentage is bio-available.

Here is the article:


"Omega-3 plus statins effective for enhanced blood lipid control: Study"
By Stephen Daniells, 06-Oct-2010

Combining statins with omega-3 fatty acids may be more effective at managing raised blood lipid levels than statins alone, suggests a new study from Korea.

Six weeks of dual therapy was found to reduce blood levels of triglycerides by 41.0 percent, compared to 13.9 percent in the group receiving only statins (simvastatin), according to new findings published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Both groups received a daily poll containing 20mg of simvastatin, while half of the participants also received an addition 4 grams of omega-3 per day, providing 1.86 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 1.4 grams of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Sixty-two people with high triglyceride levels, ranging from 200 to 499 mg per 100 ml, and total cholesterol levels greater than 200 mg per 100 ml participated in the six week prospective, randomized, open-label study.

"The combination of omega-3 fatty acids plus simvastatin, which achieved a significantly greater reduction of triglycerides without adverse reactions, should be considered as an optimal treatment option for patients with mixed dyslipidemia, " report the researchers, led by Professor Hyo-Soo Kim from the Division of Cardiology in the Department of Internal Medicine at Seoul National University Hospital.

Heart health and beyond

The study appears to support the already extensive data linking omega-3 intakes and improved measures of cardiovascular health. The heart health benefits of consuming oily fish, and the omega-3 fatty acids they contain was first reported in the early 1970s by Dr Jorn Dyerberg and his co-workers in The Lancet and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To date, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been linked to improvements in blood lipid levels, a reduced tendency of thrombosis, blood pressure and heart rate improvements, and improved vascular function.
Beyond heart health, omega-3 fatty acids, most notably EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), have been linked to a wide-range of health benefits, including reduced risk of certain cancers, good development of a baby during pregnancy, joint health, and improved behaviour and mood.

Despite such benefits there are still problems with ensuring adequate omega-3 intakes from fatty fish. This has led to a fleet of omega-3-rich concentrates becoming available. Projections by Frost & Sullivan set annual growth for the omega-3 market at an impressive 24 per cent, and the market is estimated to be worth $1.6bn by 2014.
Study details

The participants were randomly assigned to received either the statin therapy alone or in combination with the omega-3 supplements (Omacor, Solvay Pharmaceuticals) for 6 weeks. Fifty people completed the trial with seven drop outs from the combination therapy group and five from the simvastatin-only group. Of those that did complete the study, compliance with the intervention was good, with over 90 percent of statin and omega-3 capsules consumed in the combination group, compared with 87 percent in the statin-only group. Results showed that the omega-3 plus statin group experienced average decreases in triglyceride levels from 309.2 to 177.7 mg per 100 ml, compared with a reduction from 294.6 to 238.3 mg per 100 ml in the simvastatin-only group.

Additionally, significant reductions were observed in LDL cholesterol levels in both groups, while HDL levels were not affected by either intervention, said the researchers.

Professor Kim and his co-workers note that the results echo those from Western populations (Maki et al . 2008, Am. J. Cardiol., Vol. 102, pp. 429-433 & Davidson et al., 2007, Clin. Ther., Vol. 29, pp. 1354-1367).

"In contrast to the potential serious side effects of combinations of statins with fibrate, a combination therapy of omega-3 fatty acids and simvastatin showed few adverse events, " wrote the researchers. "Thus, it could be considered as good therapeutic choice for patients with mixed dyslipidemia, lowering triglycerides by 40 percent without mitigating LDL cholesterol reduction by statins."

The study was funded by the Innovative Research Institute for Cell Therapy (IRICT) and the Clinical Research Center for Ischemic Heart Disease in South Korea.

Authors: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi:10.1038/ejcn.2010.195
"Prospective randomized comparison between omega-3 fatty acid supplements plus simvastatin versus simvastatin alone in Korean patients with mixed dyslipidemia: lipoprotein profiles and heart rate variability"
Authors: S-H. Kim, M-K. Kim, H-Y. Lee, H-J. Kang, Y-J. Kim, H-S. Kim

9 Responses

To Moyra P.:

I am sorry to hear about the issues that your husband is suffering from. Unfortunately this is a far too common problem.

What I would suggest is for him to perhaps look at our Omega 3/QH Ultra, and take this at 2 per day to begin with. This should be OK for him even on the current aspirin dose.  If you are able to encourage him to reduce his aspirin intake that could be increased.

The benefit of taking the QH Ultra is that it will help restore his levels of CoQ10 which will have been depleted as a result of the statin drug. The combination of the fish oil and the CoQ10 may have some beneficial impact on his memory.

He could also consider adding our Cardio-Klenz to the QH Ultra which would also help his cardiovascular systembut, only after he has reduced his aspirin intake.

A supplement which he could take now however is our Neuro-Natural Memory.  It is probably the best supplement on the market today for brain health.  Will it help with his short term memory?  I really dont know.  I do think that it is worth trying for three months to see if it does help.
Good luck

Warren Matthews October 20 2010

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not in anyway advocating that anyone uses statin drugs. I have written many articles pointing out the dangers of this drug.

However, some people do get pressured in to taking this drug and it does deplete the body’s CoQ10 so if someone is taking it then it is within their interests to ensure that they are also taking both Omega 3 fish oil and CoQ10.

Warren Matthews October 15 2010

Hi Lisa

I am sure that the statins can be avoided.  In order to give you an informed answer could you let me know your actual figuresTotal cholesterol, HDL and LDL, and most importantly triglycerides, homocysteine and C-Reactive Protein?  All these figures are crucial and your Doctor should have considered all of these before making the suggestion re statins.  If you havent got those figures I would suggest arranging them as I am confident that you can avoid the need for a statin and thus the potential side effects.

Warren Matthews October 21 2010

My eye homed in to the earlier phrase "through the pressure of their doctors". Not a subject that is often referred to in health matters.  I could fill three pages with the appalling scare-mongering tactics that our own general practitioner used to put my husband (unnecessarily) on statins, which have resulted in gross and rapid memory loss. So, reader beware. If you trust your doctor (as many of us were brought up to do) it can result in the total devastation of your life through statin-damage. (Though the dangers, I wd maintain, are not from the drugs but from the people who are unscrupulously prescribing them  -  and at higher and higher doses, presumably from an agenda that most patients are unaware of.)

That said….  may I use this space, Warren, to ask your advice on a more-or-less related matter concerning supplements.  My husband has been taking a low-dose aspirin for 10 years, prescribed following heart bypass surgery, and which he refuses to relinquish. There are so many herbal supplements (and fish oils!) with blood-thinning propensities that would be contra-indicated in conjunction with aspirin, that it is difficult to choose a brain/memory formula that wd be completely safe to take
with his 75mg daily aspirin. This is not a subject we can discuss with our doctor; and I wd therefore be most grateful for your comment on this aspect, please, Warren.
My husband now has a five minute short-term memory span, directly related to the effects of Lipitor, and help with
some degree of memory-retrieval is sorely needed. (Conventional medicine would, of course, merely propose the taking of further toxic drugs, and would no doubt rapidly end his life.)

Moyra P. October 15 2010

Hi Warren,

I have been prescribed a statin because I had a double lung transplant over 6 years ago, and the anti-rejection drugs inflate my
cholesterol levels. (so the drs say)

Am I the exception whereby I should be taking a statin for the rest of my life?

Your feedback will be appreciated.

Thanks – Lisa – NZ

Lisa October 20 2010

Hi Katie,

Ok, first of all because your cholesterol issue is inherited not acquired you do have a little bit more leeway in your figures in terms of them being able to be slightly higher than perhaps optimal ranges, and still you can remain perfectly healthy. So bear this in mind. This isn’t to say that you should ignore your levels when they are high of course.

Your HDL and trigs are excellent, so this really helps.

If you just stopped the statin and didn’t wean off it, this would explain why you may have jumped to 300. Statins are aggressive meds and should always be weaned off slowly and gradually, especially if you have been on them a long time, otherwise they can cause your levels to ‘spike’. This may therefore be contributory to your current figures.

You are right to take fish oils, so continue with this. If you are not currently taking ours perhaps compare your current one to ours as our Omega 3 fish oils are some of the best value, purest and highest beneficial potency available worldwide. So this may help your condition more.  For your age and status the Omega 3/QH Ultra would be ideal for you to take, as it also has the benefits of CoQ10 for added cardio health.

I would suggest looking at our Cholest-Natural formula, at 2 per evening as directed.
Also ensure that your diet is optimal, your fluid intake high through the day and plenty of regular daily execise, within your means. This is all equally important to do as part of your protocol.
Finally taking Total Balance Unisex Premium (or Standard version if you need to budget) helps to support the above and provides additional balancing ingredients to help maintain good levels once they are achieved.

Monitor your condition every 4 months or so, so that you can compare figures.

Xtend-Life Expert October 28 2010

I am 64, and had been on statins for years for inherited high cholestrol. Mother died of a heart attack, sister has Hcl. Decided to try stop taking statins and just took fish oil and lots of omega 3’s. My cholestrol went from 210 to 300 after being off statin.My triglycerides are 67, LDL 195, and HDL 87. Blood pressure 118/70 I exercise a lot and otherwise am in good health.
My doctor says I should go back on statin (vytorin or lipitor). Have no insurance to cover it.
What do you think?

Katie October 25 2010

Hi Jean

I am sorry to hear of your experience. It isn’t usual for people to be advised to specifically stay out of the sun or off alcohol whilst on a statin, but of course anything in excess could exacerbate other potential side effects that are known, or may individually be a trigger for them.

The type of side effects you have may be due to the statin drug, and as such this does need more hands-on medical examination. It isn’t something we can advise on from a distance due to the seriousness of the side effects you mention.

Longer-term, if you wanted to try to avoid taking statins, this may be a possibility to discuss with your doctor. It would depend on the seriousness of your current cholesterol figures – total, ldl, hdl, triglycerides – and your cardio health and blood results. Our Cholest-Natural, Omega 3/QH Ultra, and Total Balance may all be of potential help to try to avoid a statin use in the future. With more info on your figures and current cardio/cholesterol status, as well as your general health, I may be able to advise further. If you wanted to contact me with regards to this more personally you can do so at

In the meantime, I would suggest drinking plenty of pure fluids (preferably water) and ensuring only a healthy diet until your symptoms have cleared, and to seek hands-on medical attention in the meantime.

Xtend-Life Expert October 29 2012

recently was requested to take avastatin 20mg by doc for 30 days.
a few days later went on roof to paint in hot sun like an idiot.
then celebrated a friends 40th with possibly a few too many cognacs.
am now in bed with the sorest gums ever (musco skeletal), cannot chew, lots of tingling sensations all over body, massive hives on my back and ithin the last 2 hours my feet have broken out in total hives, cannot even walk on them!
incredible knee stiffness, i am 50…
i must say that it was never mentioned to me to stay out of sun or alcohol, but yes, my foolhardiness!
have stopped statin tonite, but took omega tabletss. wife wants me to go to doc but its 900pm and a massive storm outside.
what do you suggest Warren (or anybody that has been through this)
am concerned, help?

jean marc October 20 2012

Leave a comment (all fields required)