What about garlic supplements and omega-3?

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Dear R,

There are published studies from clinical trials in the earlier literature indicating that certain types and levels of garlic preparations can provide some statistically-significant blood cholesterol-lowering including such effects in the presence of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil. The latter can have a significant blood triglyceride-lowering effect at levels of approximately 2000 mg per day of DHA/EPA (combined) but without effects on LDL- cholesterol reductions. More recent studies on various garlic preparations have indicated considerable inconsistency in that some trials show little effect on blood cholesterol lowering while others do show significant reductions. There has been much discussion and sometimes debate in the clinical literature as to changes in the potentially-active constituents (sulfur compounds) of these different garlic preparations depending upon source and processing technologies which are ever changing, plus other factors. At the present time, it is difficult and risky to confidently recommend garlic preparations for consistent blood cholesterol-lowering effects. Statin-based medications are now widely used and accepted for the clinical management of elevated blood cholesterol levels. An intake of omega-3 fatty acids as DHA/EPA (combined) of 1000 mg per day is the dose as recommended by the American Heart Association for those with coronary heart disease. Such a moderate dose may provide a slight-moderate reduction in blood triglyceride levels; however, the GISSI trial from Italy indicated considerable benefits of DHA/EPA supplementation at intakes of approximately 850 mg/day in patients following their myocardial infarction (who were on various cardio-meds) with respect to a reduction in sudden cardiac death on follow-up via mechanisms which are independent of blood triglyceride-lowering specifically.