Study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings supports multiple cardiovascular risk reductions
SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A new study, the most comprehensive analysis of the role of omega-3 dosage on cardiovascular prevention to date, provides compelling evidence for consuming more EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, respectively) omega-3 fats. Published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the meta-analysis is an in-depth review of 40 clinical trials. According to the research, EPA and DHA omega-3 intake is associated with 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:
- myocardial infarction (13%)
- fatal myocardial infarction (35%)
- CHD events (10%)
- CHD mortality (9%)
“The study supports the notion that EPA and DHA intake contributes to cardioprotection, and that whatever you’re getting through the diet, you likely need more,” said Carl “Chip” Lavie, MD, a cardiologist at Ochsner Health in New Orleans and one of the study authors.
Cardiovascular 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 cardiovascular disease and heart attack even more: risk of cardiovascular disease events decreased by 5.8% and risk for heart attack decreased by 9.0%. The study looked at dosages of up to 5500 mg/day.
This research corroborates the results of an earlier meta-analysis from Harvard School of Public Health, published in October 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 is the totality of the evidence to date.
“When separate analyses arrive at similar results, that’s not only validating; it also underscores the science base needed to inform future intake recommendations,” said co-author Aldo Bernasconi, PhD, Vice President of Data Science for the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED), which commissioned this study. “Because this paper included more studies and all dosages, the estimates for a dose-response are more precise and the conclusions stronger.”
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.
“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,” added Dr. Lavie. “Taking omega-3 supplements is a relatively low-cost, high-impact way to improve heart health with few associated risks.”
GOED, the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s, is a trade association representing 170+ companies worldwide that are active in the EPA and DHA omega-3 industry. Members of GOED are from all segments of the omega-3 supply chain, from fisheries to finished products. The organization’s mission is to increase consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3s to improve public health globally. As a condition of membership, companies agree to adhere to quality and ethical standards that are as strict or stricter than any set of regulations in the world. The organization’s education initiatives reach both healthcare practitioners, at FatsofLife.com, and consumers at AlwaysOmega3s.com.