Life Extension Overstock Products: Mega EPA/DHA Fish Oil and Niacin

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As you may be aware, the latest Life Extension Overstock Sale ends on June 8, 2009. We’d like to call your attention to two of the overstock sale products that are a particularly good deal and would be useful for a lot of people trying to lower their cholesterol and blood lipid (fat) levels.

Life Extension Mega EPA/DHA Fish Oil is useful for improving your health in many ways. In addition to helping cut down unhealthy blood lipid levels (LDL cholesterol and triglycerides), it is also helpful for reducing depression, reducing the risk of blood clots and general inflammation, and improving brain and nervous system health.

The second product we’ll discuss at the end of this article is Life Extension Vitamin B3 Niacin. It’s good for lowering LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and reducing stroke and heart attack risk. It can also increase beneficial HDL cholesterol and improve blood flow. However, you should discuss using it with your doctor to be on the safe side as people with liver disorders may not be able to safely use it.

Omega-3 Fish Oils vs. Flax Seed Supplements

Life Extension Mega EPA/DHA Fish Oil is one of the better quality supplements for Omega-3 fish oils and very well priced during this overstock sale. It contains twice the EPA and DHA per softgel as many popular brands, but with 80% less cholesterol and half the calories. Keep in mind that both members and non-members enjoy the same pricing on Life Extension overstock items. You can use this sale to try out Life Extension products without becoming a member.

If you’re familiar with omega-3 supplements, you may know that ground flax seed and flax seed fiber are sources of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) which is similar to omega-3 EPA and DHA. Moreover, plant sources generally have little to no cholesterol. However, what you might not know is that only about 10% of the ALA in flax supplements gets absorbed usefully by the body. You may need to consume very large amounts of flax products to get similar benefits as common omega-3 fish oils supplements as EPA and DHA in fish oils is much more effective.

Life Extension vs. Costco Fish Oil

Many of you may be Costco members who have bought Costco’s Kirkland Signature Fish Oil Concentrate product. It’s a great product and very well-priced. It consists of 400 softgels of fish oil containing 300mg of EPA and DHA per serving. This Costco product typically costs about $10 per bottle of 400 capsules and is sometimes on sale for as little as a bit under $7 per bottle.

However, on overstock sale the Life Extension product is a better choice. It is just slightly more expensive than the regular price for Costco’s standard fish oil product, but is significantly better in terms of nutritional content. Each capsule of Life Extension Mega EPA/DHA Fish Oil has twice the EPA and DHA of the Costco product but 50% fewer calories and 80% less cholesterol. So you get more omega-3 with far less undesirable cholesterol and fat calories for just slightly more money.

Premium Fish Oils — Consider Cost vs. Benefit Tradeoff

As with many Life Extension products, there is an even higher quality product variant available, but at a much higher price. While the Super Omega-3 EPA/DHA with Sesame Lignans & Olive Fruit Extract product is even higher quality, even at its 10 bottle member pricing it is almost 3 times as expensive as the overstock price on Mega EPA/DHA. If you’re interested in the benefits of sesame lignans (which help reduce lipid peroxidation) and olive fruit extract, you could apply the savings from buying Mega EPA/DHA Fish Oil to buy them separately. For instance, you could get them from another product (such as Life Extension’s Super Booster Softgels with Advanced K2 Complex, Gamma E Tocopherol with Sesame Lignans, and Tocotrienols with Sesame Lignansproducts) that contain 20mg of sesame lignans per softgel with other useful nutrients and get your olive oil from extra virgin olive oil for cooking.

Costco also has a premium fish oil product, their Kirkland Signature Enteric Coated Fish Oil. During the overstock sale, Life Extension Mega EPA/DHA Fish Oil is less expensive than this brand, but still has 50% fewer calories and about 60% less cholesterol for the equivalent dosage.

Recommended Dosages of EPA and DHA

Recommendations for omega-3 supplements are usually around 1200mg of combined EPA plus DHA per day for people with borderline or mildly high triglyceride or LDL cholesterol levels, 1800mg per day for moderately high levels, and 2400mg per day for very high levels which unfortunately is quite common. Keep in mind even if your LDL cholesterol levels are not sky-high, your triglycerides may be and omega-3 supplements can help with this problem, too.

Product Comparison

In the chart below, I’ve provided a comparison between the four omega-3 fish oil products mentioned in this article. Although the basic Costco product is the cheapest, if you have very high trigylceride or LDL levels and take 2400mg of EPA plus DHA per day, by taking the necessary 8 softgels per day of that supplement you’d be getting 80mg of extra cholesterol (about 25% to 40% of the typical daily cholesterol intake) and 80 calories, mostly from fat.

Comparison of Omega-3 fish oil supplements Life Extension Mega EPA/DHA Fish Oil Super Omega-3 EPA/DHA with Sesame Lignans & Olive Fruit Extract Costco Kirkland Fish Oil Costco Kirkland Enteric Coated Fish Oil
EPA + DHA (mg) 600 600 300 684
EPA (mg) 360 350 not stated 410
DHA (mg) 240 250 not stated 274
Vitamin E (IU) 4 not stated not stated not stated
Olive fruit extract none 300mg none none
Sesame lignan extract none 10mg none none
Calories 10 10.5 10 10
Cholesterol (mg) 4 4 10 10
Price per container $6.98 $18.68 $9.69 $16.49
Softgels per container 120 120 400 180
Price / softgel $0.0582 $0.1557 $0.0242 $0.0916
Price / 1200mg $0.1163 $0.3113 $0.0969 $0.1607
Daily dosage of 1200mg of EPA+DHA per day (typical dosage)
Softgels per day 2 2 4 2
Calories per day 20 21 40 20
Cholesterol per day (mg) 8 8 40 20
Annual cost $42.46 $113.64 $35.37 $66.88
Containers per year 6.08 6.08 3.65 4.06
Daily dosage of 2400mg of EPA+DHA per day (high blood lipid dosage)
Softgels per day 4 4 8 4
Calories per day 40 42 80 40
Cholesterol per day (mg) 16 16 80 40
Annual cost $84.92 $227.27 $70.74 $133.75
Containers per year 12.17 12.17 7.3 8.11

Save Money, Calories, and Your Health

By taking advantage of this Life Extension overstock sale to buy Mega EPA/DHA Fish Oil, you could instead be taking 4 softgels per day and getting only 16mg of cholesterol and 40 calories, also mostly from fat. The added cost is only a little more than $1 more per month than for Costco’s less expensive but less healthy product. It’s about $4 per month less than Costco’s concentrated fish oil product which still has 2.5 times the amount of cholesterol.

The 64mg of cholesterol you’d save per day is about the reduction in cholesterol intake you would get from eating one less McDonald’s Quarter Pounder per day. If you like eggs, cutting down on cholesterol intake is particularly important as just one egg can have well more than 200mg of cholesterol. Simply taking regular fish oil supplements plus an egg a day would lead to cholesterol intake beyond the 300mg recommended maximum daily intake.

Tips for Using Omega-3 Fish Oil Products

Be sure to take fish oil products well apart from dietary fiber supplements and other supplements that reduce fat absorption.

Omega-3 fish oils made by reputable manufacturers do not have mercury, PCB, and other similar contamination found in fish meat itself. Please see our previous article Statin Side Effects, Risks, and Alternatives for more information.

Pregnant and nursing women in particular need a lot of DHA because DHA is critical to the growth of fetal and infant neural and nervous systems, especially the brain. Pregnant women should get their omega-3 intake from supplements that are mercury-free rather then from fish that is much more likely to be contaminated with levels of mercury that could harm an unborn or nursing baby.

Fish oil supplements may “thin” the blood, so if you are taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications such as Coumadin, warfarin, or Plavix, be sure to tell your doctor about taking fish oil supplements as they may affect the medicine dosage you should take.

Discuss Also Taking Niacin (Nicotinic Acid, Vitamin B3) With Your Doctor

If you have low HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) or high LDL or high triglycerides, also ask your doctor about taking niacin at 500mg to 3000mg per day. Although 500mg of niacin is safe for most people without liver disorders, higher dosages in particular need medical supervision and periodic testing to ensure that liver damage does not occur. The form of niacin used must be nicotinic acid, not niacinamide or inositol hexaphosphate which are sometimes called “flush-free niacin”. Although niacinamide can provide beneficial health effects such as reducing anxiety, it does not reduce LDL cholesterol or triglycerides or raise HDL cholesterol.

(from Using Niacin to Improve Cardiovascular Health)

The correct dose of niacin depends on what abnormality you and your doctor are trying to correct. To raise HDL and correct small LDL, a dose of 750-1000 mg a day usually provides full benefit. Increasing this dose to 1500 mg a day may provide slightly greater benefit. To reduce LDL or Lp(a), higher doses (from 1000 mg up to 4000-5000 mg per day) are often used, with higher doses providing greater effects. However, doses this high should be taken only with a physician’s supervision. Keep in mind that it may take three months or longer to realize the full lipid-optimizing benefits of niacin.

Life Extension Vitamin B3 Niacin is also on overstock sale right now for $5.10 per bottle of 100 tablets of 1000mg each. It can be very helpful used alone or in combination with omega-3 fish oil products.

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Further Reading

Statin Side Effects, Risks, and Alternatives

Annual Life Extension Blood Test Sale

No More Heart Attacks!

The Great American Heart Hoax (excerpt from Dr. Ozner’s book)

How to Circumvent 17 Independent Heart Attack Risk Factors

The Facts About Eggs And Cholesterol

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned in this post are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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