Increased omega-3 linked to cardio-protection
The research concludes that 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).
Specifically, the study found that EPA+DHA supplementation is associated with a statistically significant reduced risk of:
- Fatal myocardial infarction (35%)
- Myocardial infarction (13%)
- CHD events (10%) and CHD mortality (9%)
Cardiovascular benefits appear to increase with dosage. The researchers found that adding an extra 1,000 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 6% and risk for heart attack decreased by 9%.
This research corroborates the results of an earlier meta-analysis from 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.
“People should consider the benefits of omega-3 supplements, at doses of 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day – far higher than what is typical, even among people who regularly eat fish”. Given the safety and diminished potential for interaction with other medications, the positive results of this study strongly suggest omega-3 supplements are a relatively low-cost, high impact way to improve heart health with few associated risks and should be considered as part of a standard preventive treatment for most patients with cardiovascular diseases and those recovering from myocardial infarction.”