An updated meta-analysis published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings supports a cardioprotective role for supplementation with the omega 3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
The current analysis expands on a recent meta-analysis of randomized trials published prior to August 2019 that examined omega 3 supplementation’s associations with cardiovascular outcomes. The newest meta-analysis included 40 randomized, controlled trials with a total of 135,267 participants. Dosages of omega 3 used in the studies ranged from 400 milligrams to 5,500 milligrams per day.
Pooled analysis of the trials’ data revealed a 13% lower risk of heart attack, a 10% lower risk of coronary heart disease events, a 35% lower risk of fatal heart attack and a 9% lower risk of coronary heart disease mortality among participants who received EPA and DHA in comparison with the control subjects.
When the impact of omega 3 dosage was examined, higher doses were more protective against the risk of cardiovascular disease events and heart attack than lower amounts.
“The study supports the notion that EPA and DHA intake contributes to cardioprotection, and that whatever patients are getting through the diet, they likely need more,” stated coauthor Carl J. Lavie, MD. “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. 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.”