After reading the above post about the TG/HDL ratio being a more accurate indicator of risk of problems caused by cholesterol I found one of my blood tests taken after starting to take fish oil. Here is a summary of the results.
After taking fish oil:
* Total cholesterol rose about 6% from 6.5 to 6.9. Not good.
* HDL (the good cholesterol) dropped 17% from 1.2 to 1.0 Not good.
* LDL (the bad cholesterol) rose 17% from 4.2 to 4.9 Not good.
* Triglycerides (bad if high) dropped 8% from 2.4 to 2.2 Good.
The relatively large (about 17%) rise in the bad cholesterol was matched by an identical (about 17%) drop in the good cholesterol. A whopping 34% change in the wrong direction in the difference between the good and bad cholesterol!
Needless to say considering that I also have another risk factor (high blood pressure caused by my arthritis medication) I stopped taking the fish oil.
I think this shows that people with arthritis taking medication need to be careful taking anything involving the liver. I believe that my liver was already straining to metabolise the arthritis medication and couldn't cope with the added burden of regulating my cholesterol. Clearly in my case taking fish oil was not good.
Iím not sure if my calculations of the TG/HDL ratios are correct but going on the previous post before the fish oil the ratio was 2.4/1.2 = 2
After taking fish oil the ratio was 2.2/1.0 = 2.2 a slight worsening of the ratio but according to the previous post below the American average.
This is very surprising to me when my total cholesterol was 6.9 which is considered high enough for the doctor I was seeing at the time to urge me to start taking cholesterol lowering drugs.
Perhaps my calculation of the TG/HDL ratios was wrong as it indicates a lower than average risk of heart attack yet the lab that did the test indicates in the analysis of the results that only my HDL (good cholesterol) was acceptable at 1.0 when the recommended level is greater than 1.0. All my other figures were outside the recommended levels.
The figures I have given may be a bit confusing to US readers as cholesterol is measured differently in Australia to the US but suffice to say that the individual figures are nearly all worse than recommended levels going by the advice given on the print out of the test results. Yet my calculation of the TG/HDL ratios indicates a lower than average risk. I guess I must have misunderstood how to calculate the ratios or done the calculation wrongly.
I suspect that its the LDL/HDL ratio that the 3.3 US average metioned in the previous post referred to. This would produce figures of 3.5 before taking fish oil and 4.9 after taking fish oil-both unhealthy given that 3.3 is the US average. This makes sense because it is in line with the indications on the printout of my test results that my cholesterol levels were not very healthy.
I ignored the doctorís advice to take cholesterol lowering drugs as I was loath to add another drug to the ones I was already taking.
The same doctor also wanted me to take medication to lower my raised blood pressure caused by the medication I take for arthritis.
I also ignored the doctorís suggestion to take anti-hypertensive drugs (my blood pressure is between 70/120 & 80/120 when not taking medication for arthritis and rises for a few hours to as high as 160/100 and then back to 90/140 and finally back to close to normal after maybe 10 or 12 hours) as I was very reluctant to add another drug to the ones I was already taking.
If I had blindly followed this doctor and taken the extra drugs and then found that taking the antihypertensive and cholesterol lowering drugs had produced more undesirable side effects the doctor would probably then have urged me to take more medication to counter these side effects and so and so and so on until I rattled from all the pills I was taking!
I no longer see that doctor.
Edited by dragon