In a new study, researchers found that higher omega-3 blood levels may reduce the risk for death from COVID-19 infection.
The research was conducted by a team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
There are several research papers suggesting that omega-3 fatty acids should have beneficial effects in patients with COVID-19 infection, but up until now, there has been no evidence supporting that hypothesis.
In the study, the team 100 patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19.
Clinical outcomes for these patients were obtained and blood was analyzed for the Omega-3 Index (O3I, red blood cell membrane EPA+DHA levels). Fourteen of the patients died.
The team found those who had the highest level of omega-3 were 75% less likely to die compared with those who had a lower level of omega-3.
Stated another way, the relative risk for death was about four times higher in those with a lower compared to those with higher levels.
The findings suggest that the nutritionally available marine fatty acids may help reduce the risk for adverse outcomes in COVID-19 patients.
Researchers say that an excessive inflammatory response referred to as a ‘cytokine storm,’ is a fundamental mediator of severe COVID-19 illness.
Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) have potent anti-inflammatory activities, and this study provides suggestive evidence that these fatty acids may dampen COVID-19’s cytokine storm.
One author of the study is Arash Asher, M.D.
The study is published in Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids.
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