High level of Lipoprotein (a) in the blood linked to heart disease

April 14, 2008

Lipoprotein (a) is a protein found in the blood that is attached to fat. Researchers at Cambridge University examined data from an Icelandic study that began in 1967 that measured the level of lipoprotein (a) in 2,047 people who later died from heart disease, and 3,921 people who did not die from heart disease. After accounting for factors that are established risk factors for heart disease including old age, high LDL-cholesterol, and high blood pressure, it was found that people with a high level of lipoprotein (a) were 60% more likely to develop heart disease than those with the lowest levels and as the level of lipoprotein (a) increased so did the risk of developing heart disease. The study is published in the March 24th, 2008 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

EPA from fish oils improves major depressive disorder significantly and when combined with fluoxetine the improvement may be very good

In this newly published study 60 patients with major depression (based on DSM-IV criteria and a score of 15 or more on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale giving the diagnosis of major depressive disorder) were randomly assigned to receive EPA, one of the two major fats in fish oils, at a dosage of 1000 mg a day, or the drug fluoxetine (the generic name for the antidepressant drug Prozac), or they received both (EPA + fluoxetine) all for 8-weeks. At week 4 there was a distinct difference between groups. Fluoxetine decreased the level of depression by 50% when used alone, EPA reduced the level of depression by 56% when used alone, and when the two were combined (fluoxetine plus EPA) depression improved by 81%. The study is published in the March 2008 issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.