Hyperlipidaemia and the case for Oily Fish

I have just spent the last few weeks researching and planning a summative paper on the pathophysiology and nutritional interventions for Hyperlipidaemia; that’s high blood cholesterol to you and me.

The biggest concern for people suffering from high cholesterol is the risk factor increase for coronary heart disease; heart attack and stroke. Who amongst us can say that they haven’t been effected by someone they know suffering from a heart attack or stroke.

Elevated blood cholesterol often runs hand in hand with other determining risk factors; obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndromes as well as disorders of hypothyroidism, elevated triglycerides and elevated homocysteine levels.

Whilst the conventional medical route is to offer statins or fibrates, the National Cholesterol Education Programme recommends that therapeutic lifestyle considerations including diet and exercise may reduce LDL cholesterol.

Dietary considerations include reducing saturated fats and increasing fibre. With diets such as the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet for Weight Loss naturally incorporating these recommendations.

The benefits of oily fish cannot be overstressed, Omega-3 EPA and DHA are antithrombotic and are known to retard the growth of arteriosclerotic plaque. Eating oily fish 2 – 3 times per week really can help reduce your risk factor for coronary heart disease.

Similar cardio-protective benefits are to be found in Vitamin C & E, which work synergistically with one another, acting as antioxidants, interfering with the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

In our house we have adopted some ‘catchy’ (haha) little monikers to help us get more fish in our diets. We have “Mackerel Monday” and “Fish on Friday” – the kids now love it and look forward to it and I have a better understanding of the term Heart Health!!

You might find these articles interesting in relation to the topic:

National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) (2002). Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III – Final Report. Circulation. (106) p.3143-3421.

HEART (2014) Joint British Societies’ consensus recommendations for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (JBS3). HEART. (100), ii1-ii67.

Camilla Elms – Year 3 

DISCLAIMER – this article is intended for information only and should not be considered to be nutritional advice. If you would like to change your diet please see a qualified registered practitioner for professional advice.


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