(NaturalNews) In the fall of 2005, GlaxoSmithKline released their new "Drug" Lovaza, a synthetic version of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids found in fish oil. But the highly refined oil isn`t performing as well in real life usage as the drug makers had hoped. It`s indication for use in moderately elevated cholesterol levels is coming into question as new research is showing that it is actually RAISING bad cholesterol levels and essentially negating its beneficial effects.
Fish Oils, and specifically Omega 3 fatty acids, have shown in study after study to be a beneficial dietary addition. Their most noted effects are their ability to reduce cholesterol levels - in some studies they reduce them as well as cholesterol lowering statin drugs.
Walk into any health food store and you can take your pick of a dozen different types of fish oils. In pills or liquid, and even flavored with lemon or tropical fruits, the general public has caught on to the health benefits of this dietary supplement.
Never to be outdone by the supplement industry, Big Pharma has worked their way into the market share of the popular Fish Oil industry... but it`s not quite turning out like they had hoped.
Lovaza, made by GlaxoSmithKline, is a patented preparation of `Omega-3-Acid Ethyl Esters` and is FDA approved for lowering high triglyceride levels in the blood. Triglycerides are a type of fat present in the blood. Often checked at the same time as cholesterol levels, a high (over 150 mg/dl) is concerning to most doctors and can indicate a higher risk of coronary heart disease. When high triglycerides are present, medical professionals will often recommend some sort of intervention to bring the offending blood level down - either lifestyle changes or a prescription drug.
GlaxoSmithKline was hoping that Lovaza would fit the bill as one of the prescription drugs recommended for use in combination with their ever beloved cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. With Lovaza being prescribed in cases where triglyceride levels were considered `moderately` high, 200- 499 mg/dl, GlaxoSmithKline pulled in close to $1 billion in 2008 from the drug!
But it`s turning out that their synthetically-derived `fish oil` isn`t quite turning out to be the darling that the less expensive naturally-occurring form of Omega 3 Fatty Acids is. In recent studies, it turns out that Lovaza, while lowering triglyceride levels, RAISES LDL "bad cholesterol" levels up to 20%! This effectively negates any reason that the $3,360 per year drug would be prescribed in the first place!
Worst Pills, Best Pills at, www.worstpills.org, placed a `boxed warning` on Lovaza this week. The non-profit `Expert Second Opinion for Prescription Drug Information` no longer considers Lovaza appropriate for `moderately high` triglycerides and recommends that it`s use be limited only to those suffering from triglyceride levels greater than 500 mg/dl.
Worst Pills, Best Pills recommendations are independent conclusions that may or may not be the recommendations of the FDA or the AMA and physicians remain free to prescribe Lovaza for any reason they choose. If you are currently taking Lovaza, ask your doctor about rechecking your cholesterol, triglyceride and liver function tests.
Kerri Knox, RN is a Registered Nurse and Functional Medicine Practitioner. With over 14 years of experience in health care, she has the unique perspective of being solidly grounded in Conventional Medicine and being well versed in Alternative Medicine. She can help you to to find and repair the UNDERLYING CAUSES of illness using cutting edge in home lab testing that finds nutritional deficiencies, hidden infections and chemical and metal toxicities that contribute to ill health. She can be reached through her websites at: Easy Immune System Health.com Side Effects Site