There is another drug war upon us.
Only this time, it could end up costing you a fortune — especially if you are one of the 20 million Americans who take omega-3 fish oil supplements.
Let me explain…
Back when I first started practicing medicine, Big Pharma and the rest of the medical establishment dismissed fish oil and its powerful saturated fats as something only quacks recommended.
If I’d suggested to other physicians that taking fish oil slashes your risk of having a heart attack and stroke… boosts brainpower… fights depression… improves eye health… and reduces inflammation, I’d have been laughed out of town.
Times have changed. The extraordinary health benefits of omega-3 have been proven time and again in mountains of scientific studies.
So of course, Big Pharma is now pushing their own prescription-only versions of omega-3 — in drugs like Lovaza, Vascepa, Epanova, and Omtryg.
At many times the price…
This is basically a pharmaceutical industry scam. But things are about to take a nasty turn.
The FDA has approved these pharmaceutical fish oil pills for treating patients with high triglycerides, the type of fat that contributes to hardening of the arteries and the risk of blood clots.
It has been known for years that omega-3s are powerful heart protectors. And for years you’ve been able to buy the over-the-counter dietary supplement for about $40 a month — instead of shelling out around $280 a month for GlaxoSmithKline’s Lovaza, for example.1
But if drug company Amarin, the makers of Vascepa have their way, you could soon be forced to pay these high prices.
Amarin is now on the verge of demanding that the FDA remove a restriction that states Vascepa can only be prescribed to patients with hypertriglyceridemia.
Removing this restriction opens the door to “off-label” use — which is ridiculous, because omega-3s are essential nutrients made in nature and consumed in food. Your evolved heart and brain have come to rely on omega-3s.
The upcoming FDA ruling will likely soon mean that any of these Big Pharma fish oil pills can be prescribed for any of the hundreds of omega-3 health benefits — and marketed directly at the 20 million Americans who take omega-3 supplements daily.
At the same time, Amarin is suing omega-3 supplement makers for using the company’s research to support other fish oil products. Amarin’s research found that its high-dose fish oil pill — an eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)-only concoction — reduced heart attacks and strokes by 25% in high-risk patients.2
As it happens, omega-3s contain not one, but two powerful fatty acids — EPA and the even stronger docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, which is absent in Vascepa.
But it’s not surprising that Vascepa’s trial results were so positive. I’ve been telling patients about the enormous health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for decades.
We don’t get nearly enough of them in our modern diet. That’s why access to supplements is crucial.
Amarin is clearly looking to boot potential supplement competitors from the market ahead of its pending FDA lawsuit result.
It makes you wonder how far it will go…
Do you remember when the FDA and Merck sued the supplement company Pharmanex? The Big Pharma manufacturer wanted Pharmanex to stop making a red yeast rice supplement that competed with its cholesterol-lowering drug.
After a lengthy court battle plus appeals, the FDA and Merck prevailed and declared that the dietary supplement was indeed a drug. Shortly after, the supplement was banned in the U.S.
I recommend writing to your representative in Congress. Tell them that supplements are NOT drugs, and to stop pharmaceutical companies attacking the only safe and affordable way you can maintain your health.
Tell them also you have the right to choose not to go to a doctor and instead get your omega-3 supply as an inexpensive dietary supplement — not as a pricey drug that must be prescribed.
Keep Taking the Right Kind of Omega-3 Supplements
I advise my patients to get their DHA from krill and calamari oil. They’re more concentrated than regular fish oil. And your body absorbs them better. Here’s what I recommend:
- Use this unique calamari oil. Calamari, or squid, has one of the highest concentrations of DHA of any food. But even if you eat calamari you’re not getting very high concentrations of oil. That’s why I recommend supplementing with squid oil. But make sure your calamari oil comes from squid that live off the coast of South America in the pure waters of the South Pacific (illex argentinus). After the oil is distilled, it’s more than 65% DHA3 — the highest concentration of DHA I’ve found yet.
- And combine it with krill oil. Squid oil is even better when it’s combined with krill oil. The DHA in krill oil can penetrate into nearly every cell in your body. A study published in the journal Nutrition Research showed the omega-3 levels of people taking krill oil skyrocketed by 178%.4 And combine krill oil with natural astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that can help DHA cross the blood-brain barrier even more efficiently.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. McTavish E. “Are prescription fish-oil pills for heart disease for you? What you need to know.” Chicago Sun Times. Nov. 17, 2018
2. Bhatt DL, et al. “Cardiovascular risk reduction with Icosapent ethyl for hypertriglyceridemia.” N Engl J Med. 2019;380(1):11-22.
3. Hwang LS and Liang JH. “Fractionation of urea-pretreated squid visceral oil ethyl esters.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society. 2001;78(5):473-476.
4. Maki KC, et al. “Krill oil supplementation increases plasma concentrations of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in overweight and obese men and women.” Nutr Res. 2009;29(9):609-615.