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Msg  6671 of 7622  at  2/14/2020 1:31:37 PM  by


In Today's "AARP Bulletin" e-mail


Enter the Fish Oil Rx

But supplements are no longer the only way to pop fish oil, which brings us to some big news on the omega-3 fatty acid front: a prescription medication Vascepa (icosapent ethyl), which has proven to be something of a game-changer for those with certain conditions.

Made from one type of omega-3 fatty acid, called eicosapentaenoic (or EPA), extracted from sardines and anchovies and purified, the pill has been shown to help reduce the chances of heart attacks and strokes for those who have a history of cardiovascular disease or major risk factors for it, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, those who took the drug in a randomized controlled study had a 25 percent reduced risk of major cardiovascular events. Vascepa is already approved and in use for those with very high levels of triglycerides. And it's expected to get expanded approval this month, allowing it to be prescribed to a larger audience. The drug is designed to be taken in addition to statin medications (which reduce LDL, or bad cholesterol).

Physicians believe the benefit may come because the medication contains only EPA at high levels — the amount of fish oil in the daily recommended dosage is 4 grams — unlike other supplements that contain both EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), another type of omega-3 fatty acid, at much lower doses. In fact, says Bhatt, who was the trial's lead investigator, “You'd have to take 20 to 25 over-the-counter supplements a day, or consume 20 to 25 servings of fish a week, to potentially get that level of EPA.” High doses of omega-3 aren't appropriate for everyone because they may pose risks, such as a slight increase in bleeding, so Bhatt suggests talking to your doctor to see if you're a good candidate for the drug.


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6673 Re: In Today's "AARP Bulletin" e-mail ex_hacker202 0 2/14/2020 1:51:02 PM

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