Press "Enter" to skip to content

Omega-Three fatty acids and the center: New proof, extra questions

My sufferers generally ask me whether or not they need to strive one complement or one other. Often my reply is equivocal, as a result of for many dietary supplements we simply don’t have sufficient proof to present a particular reply. This doesn’t imply {that a} explicit affected person couldn’t profit from a particular complement; it simply means I don’t have standardized analysis to information my suggestions. Sadly, this stays true of omega-Three fatty acid dietary supplements. The outcomes of research taking a look at omega-Three dietary supplements have been inconsistent, and have left each physicians and sufferers questioning what to do.

Omega-Three fatty acids present profit in REDUCE-IT trial and win FDA approval

Two predominant omega-Three fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are discovered primarily in fish and fish oil. Omega-3s from fish and fish oil have been really useful by the American Heart Association (AHA) for the previous 20 years to scale back cardiovascular occasions, like coronary heart assault or stroke, in individuals who have already got heart problems (CVD). I’ve written about and been a robust advocate of getting omega-3s by way of food plan, and typically by way of using dietary supplements.

Over the previous yr I’ve prescribed an omega-3, bought below the model title Vascepa, to my sufferers who’re at excessive threat for CVD, based mostly on proof of cardiovascular advantages. Vascepa accommodates purified EPA, and its use relies on good medical knowledge from the REDUCE-IT trial. This research enrolled over 8,000 sufferers with elevated cardiovascular threat and excessive blood triglyceride ranges. They assigned half of the research contributors to obtain 2 grams of Vascepa twice a day, and assigned the opposite contributors a placebo (a tablet crammed with mineral oil). The outcomes confirmed a big good thing about Vascepa over the placebo. Vascepa lowered blood triglyceride ranges, however extra importantly, it lowered the variety of coronary heart assaults and strokes, the necessity for a coronary heart stenting process to open clogged arteries, and loss of life.

A subsequent meta-analysis, which included knowledge from over 10 research, discovered fish oil omega‐Three dietary supplements lowered threat for coronary heart assault and loss of life from coronary coronary heart illness.

In December 2020, the FDA accredited using Vascepa to scale back the chance of cardiovascular occasions in sure sufferers with, or at excessive threat for, CVD.

STRENGTH trial casts some doubt on omega-Three advantages

But a latest research has raised some questions. The STRENGTH trial, revealed in JAMA, checked out a special formulation of omega-Three fish oil — a mixture of EPA and DHA — to see if it could additionally scale back cardiovascular threat. This research enrolled over 13,000 sufferers who had been randomized to obtain both the EPA/DHA mixture tablet or the placebo (a tablet crammed with corn oil). The trial was terminated early resulting from an interim evaluation revealing no distinction between the 2 therapy teams.

We don’t know for sure why the REDUCE-IT trial confirmed a profit from omega-3s whereas the STRENGTH trial didn’t. One chance is that the totally different outcomes are because of the totally different medicine studied. REDUCE-IT studied a purified formulation of high-dose EPA, which resulted in larger EPA ranges. This was much like the outcomes of one other trial, which additionally discovered that pure EPA lowered the chance of cardiac occasions. The STRENGTH trial examined a mixture of EPA and DHA. No giant research has ever evaluated the consequences on cardiovascular outcomes of purified DHA alone, leaving us to wonder if DHA would possibly counteract the advantages of EPA.

Where can we stand?

Back to my sufferers who wish to know if they need to be taking an omega-Three complement. With the supply of in the present day’s knowledge, I might advocate a pure EPA complement, or one which accommodates extra EPA than DHA. But don’t cease there. Eat a heart-healthy food plan, get common train, and pursue different way of life modifications which have confirmed advantages for cardiovascular well being. In the meantime, my colleagues and I anticipate extra definitive knowledge on the utility of omega-Three fish oil, and who would possibly profit essentially the most.

The publish Omega-Three fatty acids and the center: New proof, extra questions appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    %d bloggers like this: