Fish Oil plus statin reduces major coronary events better than statins alone. The results of a major randomized human clinical trial of 18,645 participants were presented at the November 2005 American Heart Association meeting in Dallas, TX. In the JELIS (Japan Eicosapentaenoic Acid Lipid Intervention Study) trial the participants were given a statin drug alone or a combination of statin and 1,800 mg per day of EPA from fish oil. After greater than 4.5 years of follow-up, significant reductions in major coronary events (19%) and unstable angina (24%) were observed in the secondary prevention group (prevention of a second coronary event). A similar, but not significant, 18% reduction in major coronary events was observed in the primary prevention group (in participants with no previous coronary events).
Because cholesterol was reduced equivalently in both the active and placebo groups, the researchers hypothesize that fish oil provides its protective benefits through a non-lipid mechanism. It is believed that fish oils may help to stabilize atherosclerotic plaques as well as provide anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic benefits.
Yokoyama, M. et al, "JELIS - Japan Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) Lipid Intervention Study", Unpublished data presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Nov. 2005; in Dallas, TX