Do Fish Oil Supplements Lower High Blood Cholesterol?

Concerned about a high LDL cholesterol reading six months back, as well as a total cholesterol reading of 203, I began taking Nature Valley’s clear fish oil capsules.  I’d take 1200 milligrams of this fish oil at each meal.  So in total, I’d take 3600 to 4800 milligrams per day, depending on how many meals I ate.

My family doctor advised that I take fish oil because she believes that it can lower risks of death from heart attacks and strokes.  Plus, fish oil can help lower blood pressure.  I’ve battled pre hypertension for a year now.  We both therefore, had high hopes for the fish oil regimen lowering my cholesterol.

Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.  A few days ago, I visited my physician to renew the prescription for the lisinopril meds I’ve been taking for my slightly elevated blood pressure.  My cholesterol this time around was 233; a 30 point increase!  And, my LDL cholesterol read 147.  Also, my HDL (good cholesterol fell this time from 42 to 40).  Probably the only good reading I got was my blood pressure, which had fallen from 135 / 94 to 112 / 80.  I’m not sure this can be attributed to the fish oil however, as I, as mentioned, have also added lisinopril 10 milligram pills to my daily meds list.

In terms of the cholesterol readings however, the fish oil has had little positive effect.  My triglycerides were also on the high side, at 231.  At least my blood sugar was a little lower, dropping from 106 to 98.  Though the fish oil suplimest did not work as well as I hoped this time, I’ll continue taking it for the next three months as well as making further adjustments to my diet.  Studies may show fish oil to be beneficial to hypertensive patients with elevated cholesterol.  But I have not observed any improvement in my own blood chemistry as of yet.

I am at this point, 22 pounds overweight.  The doctor advised that I drop those excess pounds, as doing so would lower the bad blood values and raise the desirable ones.  She told me to watch the carbs to do that.  Well, I don’t know.  I mean, I’d certainly like to lose the weight, though I’m skeptical about how well this will work.  But I’ll try.  More treadmill exercise I guess.  I’ve got a new walking playlist ready for my iPod, to listen to on those hour-long treadmill exercise sessions.

I have requested that if the LDL values does not come down in three months, that my doctor again prescribed the simvastatin 10 milligram pills that I took back in 2008 to lower my total cholesterol.  Those worked very well, dropping a total cholesterol reading of 282 down to 154.

After several months, we observed no appreciable cholesterol lowering while taking fish oil.  Simvastatin was much more effective.


Revision History

  • 2015-03-04: Tweaked content.
  • 2012-08-18: Originally published.