Take Heart: More Good News about Omega-3s and Heart Health!

More Good News About Omega-3s and Heart Health-12018 was a banner year for research on Omega-3s and cardiovascular health. Three large-scale studies reaffirmed what smaller studies have been showing all along — that Omega-3s are good for your heart.*[1] 

Over the course of several months, three studies enrolling almost 50,000 subjects (that’s a lot!) were published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. In one fell swoop, these studies doubled the number of people who’ve ever been included in research on DHA, EPA, and heart health. The bigger the study, the more reliable its results, so this means the science on Omega-3s and cardiovascular health has gotten a lot stronger.

Here’s what the heart health studies revealed:
  • The Ascend study followed 15,480 people with no prior heart trouble for about seven and a half years. Half the group took EPA/DHA supplements during that time, while the other half took placebos. The researchers found folks taking Omega-3s enjoyed better vascular (blood vessel) health than their counterparts taking sugar pills.*[2]
  • The Reduce-It study researched 8,179 adults concerned about blood sugar or triglyceride maintenance for almost five years. It found that EPA (4 grams) had a protective effect on cardiovascular health compared to placebo.*[3]
  • VITAL was the biggest of the three studies. It enrolled 25,871 men and women, about a quarter of them African-Americans, and followed them for a little over five years. The results showed that a combination of EPA and DHA (1 gram) plus vitamin D3 (2,000 IU) supported heart health in the volunteers as a whole, but African-Americans and those folks who didn’t eat much fish saw the biggest benefits.*[4]

GOED, the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s, will be analyzing the data from all three studies together and publishing the results in a peer-reviewed journal sometime this year. We look forward to reading more about these exciting studies!

In the meantime, keep eating your fatty fish and your flaxseeds or take a high-quality omega-3 supplement. Your heart will thank you.

 * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

References

[1] Schutt E. EPA and DHA omega-3s: Reflections on 2018. Nutraingredients. 2018 Dec 12. https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2018/12/12/EPA-and-DHA-Omega-3s-Reflections-on-2018

[2] ASCEND Collaborative Study Group (Bowman L, et al.) N Engl J Med. 2018 Oct 18;379(16):1540-50.

[3] Bhatt DL, et al. N Engl J Med. 2019 Jan 3;380:11-22.

[4] Manson JE. N Engl J Med. 2019 Jan 3;380:23-32.

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