To Your Good Health: Very high triglycerides may need a step up from OTC fish oil | Columnists


If you are considering taking a fish oil supplement because you are at higher risk for heart disease or stroke, a statin drug is a much better studied mechanism to reduce that risk. If your triglycerides remain elevated despite statin therapy, then Vascepa is a good idea if you fall into a high-risk group. I would recommend Vascepa, in this instance, rather than an over-the-counter fish oil supplement, due to the good-quality evidence of benefit and the concern that some brands of OTC supplements are not of excellent quality.

Eating fatty fish, such as salmon, one or two servings a week gives many of the benefits of fish oil supplementation.

DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband is 55 years old. He was in the hospital about a year ago for a mild heart attack. At the time, a urine test was performed and a small amount of blood was detected in his urine. He went through the usual tests and scans, including a CT scan and cystoscopy, but nothing could be found to indicate the reason for the blood. A year later, his urine still tests positive for blood. The doctor doesn’t seem overly concerned. but I’d like to know what is causing the blood in his urine. Is it acceptable to live with a small amount of blood in the urine? — M.H.

ANSWER: Small amounts of blood in the urine are extremely common. There are many causes, the most are concerning of which is bladder cancer. It is more common in men over 35 or those with certain occupational exposures. Concern for bladder cancer is the main reason why your husband had the CT scan and cystoscopy.

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