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Maximum Wellness, Episode 27: Omega-3 Supplementation Reduces Risk to Coronary Disease & Most Other End Points


A research study—Marine Omega-3 Supplementation and Cardiovascular Disease: An Updated Meta-Analysis (many similar studies) of 13 Randomized Controlled trials Involving 127,477 Participants—appeared September 2019 in Journal of the American Heart Association. It concluded that, “marine omega-3 supplementation lowers risk for myocardial infarction, CHD (coronary heart disease) death, total CHD, CVD (cardiovascular disease) death, and total CVD.”

Harvard researchers used data from three randomized controlled trials – with and without exclusion of the REDUCDE-IT trial (Reduction of Cardiovascular Events with Eicosapentaenoic Ethyl-Intervention Trial), which observed a protective effect from a highly purified, prescription-type EPA, ethyl ester formula against the occurrence of all fatal or non-fatal cardiovascular events—among established CVD and other risk factors.

According to the study, the clinical perspective and implications are as follows:
Risk reductions were linearly associated with dose of marine omega-3 supplementation, where greater cardiovascular benefits may be achieved at higher doses of marine omega-3 supplementation.

Researchers from the Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School report that, “despite consistent findings from observational studies showing inverse associations between higher fish consumption and lower risk of heart disease, recent evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) testing marine omega-3 supplementation, using a moderate-dose combination of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) compared with placebo, have had largely null results.”

The American Heart Association (AHA) currently recommends that patients at high risk for CVD (not currently with CVD), utilize Omega-3 supplementation. The AHA also suggests that patients with high triglycerides, a blood fat, under a doctor’s supervision, use 2,000-4,000 mg of Omega-3 fish oil daily.

Prior research said, “a dose-response analysis based on 58 placebo-controlled trials estimated that each 1 g/d increase of marine omega’3 reduced triglyceride levels by 5.9 mg/dL and such linear association did not plateau even at 7 g/d.”

The researchers also state that, “our results were generally consistent with previous findings that indicated that marine omega-3 supplementation was not associated with risk of stroke.”

The take-away message is that, “daily marine omega-3 supplementation is effective in lowering risk for coronary and most other cardiovascular end points, including myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease death, total coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease death, and total cardiovascular disease.”

Be sure to check with your physician first for proper guidance.