Cholesterol Health Update – Part Three of Three

I’ve gotten lots of great feedback on our cholesterol series. In this article I will tackle one more common cholesterol myth.

Let’s get started…


Old Info: An analysis of all the cholesterol-lowering research studies shows the best reduction of mortality is with using statin medications.

New Info: The research proves fish oil lowers cardiovascular mortality better than statin medications, even with no change in LDL levels.

Dr. Carri: Omega-3’s are ALSO proven to: lower your triglycerides; raise your HDL2 (the REALLY healthy potion of HDL); lower your blood pressure; lower your heart rate; and lower your levels of inflammation.

If you’re taking omega-3 fish oil supplements the questions you should ask yourself now are:

  1. Am I taking the right kinds of omega-3’s? And…
  2. Am I taking enough of my omega-3’s? And…
  3. Can I have my omega-3 levels tested?

(And, if you’re NOT taking omega-3 fish oil then you should probably ask yourself why not? Remember, heart disease is the #1 killer of Canadians.)


Answer to question #1:

When it comes to the kinds of omega-3’s you should be taking, there are two that are most popular: EPA and DHA.

(If you check the ingredients label on your fish oil supplement you will see these listed. Go over and grab your bottle right now and check – you’re going to want this info for the next part of this article, anyways. Don’t worry…I’ll wait for you.) We used to think it was the EPA portion of the fish oil that was best for heart health – this is no longer true.

The newest research shows DHA is the most heart healthy.

So, you want to make sure your omega-3 fish oil contains lots of DHA.

(Notice I’m always referring to fish oil for your omega-3’s and NOT flaxseed oil. Although technically flaxseed oil is an omega-3 it’s actually a very poor source of EPA and DHA.)

(Oh, and for the vegetarians/vegans – yes, you can get your omega-3’s from an algae source. But, most companies encapsulate it with a bovine capsule, not a veggie capsule.)

You should take more DHA compared to EPA. Research shows we should take three to four times more DHA than EPA. Take a look at your label again and do the math – just give it a rough estimate.

Most bottles of fish oil are the exact opposite and have more EPA than DHA – yours probably is like this. (I know because I had to search high and low for the right fish oil…high in DHA…and eventually I found one!)


Answer to question #2:

For good heart health the research shows 2,000mg of DHA daily is the magic number. If you have the right fish oil supplement you should be able to achieve this with 4 capsules or less.

Getting back to the vegetarians/vegans – to get 2,000mg DHA daily from an algae product you’d have to take 10 caps or more daily. And since most companies use bovine capsules it’s really a no-win situation.


Answer to question #3:

Testing your omega-3 levels is readily available. It’s a simple blood test. Any doctor in Canada can do this test…including me.

The research shows your blood omega-3 levels should be over 8.0%. This alone has been proven to lower your risk of sudden cardiac death by 90%!

Of course I’ve checked my own levels – they’re too low.

So, I’m taking more DHA now because, like most people, heart disease runs in my family. I’m doing whatever I can to keep my heart healthy – and so should you.


If you’re interested in knowing more about any of the myths I’ve dispelling during this series, or any of the tests I’ve referred to, please free to ask at your next appointment or just shoot me off an email.

Make a promise to yourself starting today:

Stop feeling lousy…rotten…awful…crummy…miserable…terrible…crappy.

Find a good Functional Medicine doctor to help you get to the root cause of your health problems.

Like I always say:

Find the cause.

Fix the cause.

Feel normal again!


Dr. Carri Drzyzga, DC, ND – The Functional Medicine Doc

Find the Cause. Fix the Cause. Feel Normal Again!

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