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Pharmacology

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Cardiovascular Pharm

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Fish Oil and Omega-3s

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Summary

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which lower VLDL and triglyceride levels. Clinically, they are therefore used to treat hypertriglyceridemia. Side effects may include nausea and a fish taste.

Key Points

  • Fish Oil / Omega-3s
    • Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids
      • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
      • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
    • Clinical Use
      • Treats hypertriglyceridemia
    • Mechanism
      • ↓ VLDL production / ↓ triglycerides
        • The mechanism is really multifactorial--everything from inflammation to PPAR has been implicated
        • VLDL carries endogenous triglycerides, so VLDL and triglycerides are highly related
      • ↓ Apo B synthesis
        • Apo B-100 is the core structural protein for VLDL, so decreased apo B should obviously decrease VLDL. That being said, the mechanism is again multifactorial, so there’s not a single slam-dunk mechanism as to why fish oil works
    • Adverse Effects
      • Nausea
      • Fishy taste