Omega-3 fats may strongly protect heart health, new study confirms

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In a new study, researchers provide the most comprehensive analysis of the role of omega-3 dosage on heart disease prevention to date.

The meta-analysis, which is an in-depth review of 40 clinical trials, provides authoritative evidence for consuming more EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 fats.

The finding concludes that EPA and DHA omega-3 intake is linked to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events, the cause of 7.4 million deaths globally each year, and reduced risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack), including fatal heart attack.

Specifically, the study found that EPA+DHA supplementation is associated with a statistically significant reduced risk of: Fatal heart attack (35%), heart attack (13%), CHD events (10%), and CHD mortality (9%).

Heart benefits appear to increase with dosage.

The researchers found that adding an extra 1000 mg of EPA and DHA per day decreased the risk of heart disease and heart attack even more: risk of heart disease decreased by 5.8% and risk for heart attack decreased by 9.0 percent.

The study looked at dosages of up to 5500 mg/day.

This research corroborates the results of an earlier study from Harvard School of Public Health, published in fall 2019, that looked at EPA and DHA dosage using the 13 largest clinical studies.

This new paper encompasses more than triple the number of studies, which represents the totality of the evidence to date and includes more than 135,000 study participants.

EPA and DHA omega-3s are long-chain, marine-based fatty acids. Eating fish, particularly fatty fish such as salmon, anchovies and sardines, is the optimal way to get EPA and DHA omega-3s, since fish also provides other beneficial nutrients.

However, most people around the world eat much less than the amount of fish recommended, so supplementing with omega-3s helps close the gap.

The team says people should consider the benefits of omega-3 supplements, at doses of 1000 to 2000 mg per day—far higher than what is typical, even among people who regularly eat fish.

One author of the study is Carl “Chip” Lavie, MD, a cardiologist at Ochsner Health in New Orleans.

The study is published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Copyright © 2020 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.