Fish Oil & Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The latest Omega 3 Research
Analysis Supports Omega-3 Ability to Lower Heart Failure Risk
Seven prospective studies providing data on 176,441 subjects and 5,480 incident cases of heart failure, indicated that people with the highest category of EPA and DHA levels had a 14% lower risk of heart failure, compared to people with the lowest levels.
The conclusions of the meta-analysis echo comments by Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian from Harvard University. Speaking at last week’s GOED Exchange in Boston, Dr Mozaffarian told attendees: “The main benefits for omega-3s are for preventing cardiac death.” "Fish and omega-3 should be the first line of defense against heart disease death.” National and international recommendations have consistently focused on daily omega-3 consumptions of at least 250 mg of long-chain omega-3s, but median intakes of these is about 50mg/day, added Dr Mozaffarian.
Harry Rice, PhD, vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs for omega-3 trade association GOED, welcomed the new data. Commenting on the analysis, Dr Rice stated "Results from the present meta-analysis of high-quality studies corroborate results from past studies supporting a decreased risk of heart failure among individuals ingesting EPA and DHA. The 3% lower risk of heart failure associated with each 125 mg/day increase in EPA+DHA reveals what a potent effect the long-chain O-3s can have on cardiovascular health. "Of course, as the authors pointed out, the results need to be confirmed in a randomized controlled trial. There's no reason to believe, however, that the results won't hold true under increased scrutiny."
For the new meta-analysis, the Boston-based scientists identified seven prospective studies for inclusion in their analysis. After crunching the numbers, they found that for every 15 grams per day increase in fish consumption, the risk of heart failure was reduced by 5%. In addition, for every 125 mg per day increase in EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids the associated risk of heart failure was decreased by 3%.
Commenting on the potential mechanism, the researchers note that EPA and DHA and fish have been linked to lower levels of triglycerides and improved blood lipid levels, which could favorably influence the heart failure risk. In addition, EPA and DHA have been reported to improved ventricular function, heart rate, and inflammation. “If confirmed in a large double blind, placebo controlled randomized clinical trial, omega-3 could be added to the list of lifestyle factors and pharmacological agents that can be used for the primary prevention of heart failure,” concluded the researchers.
Clinical Nutrition 10.1016/j.clnu.2012.05.010
Omega-3 Reduces Insulin Resistance Bio-markers
New research shows that increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce important markers of insulin resistance and thereby help prevent diabetes,.
The study, published in the European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, evaluated the effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on lipid profile and insulin resistance biomarkers. The researchers found that dietary intake of concentrated omega-3 capsules with meals resulted in improved lipid profiles and adiponectin levels, compared to placebo, and an improvement of all insulin resistance parameters after an oral fat load. gOmega-3 PUFA not only improved lipid profile in a baseline situation, but it also improved all insulin resistance parameters in a post-prandial situation simulated with an oral fat load. This is another important action,h said the researchers, led by Giuseppe Derosa from the University of Pavia, Italy.
For the study, 167 patients (82 males and 85 females) were assigned to receive one gram of either placebo (a capsule containing sucrose, mannitol, and mineral salts) or omega-3 three times a day, during meals, for six months. Omega-3 was reported to improve HDL-cholesterol and plasma triglyceride markers compared to placebo, while they had a neutral effect on total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol.
After an oral fat load, the researchers found that the group taking omega-3 capsules showed an improvement of all parameters, include insulin resistance biomarkers, while there was a neutral effect with placebo. Derosa and his colleagues concluded that omega-3 intake gresulted in a greater improvement of lipid profile and ADN compared to placebo in a baseline condition, and an improvement of all insulin resistance parameters after an oral fat load.h
European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1002/ejlt.201000504 (for purchase) gEffects of n-3 PUFA on insulin resistance after an oral fat loadh Authors: G. Derosa, A.F.G. Cicero, E. Fogari, A. D'Angelo, A. Bonaventura, P. Maffioli
Omega 3 Reduces Arterial Stiffness
Analysis of data from ten clinical trials reveals that omega 3 fatty acids are associated with an improvement of both pulse wave velocity and arterial compliance, both of which are measures of the stiffness of arteries. The findings of the present study reveal that supplementation with omega 3 offers a scientifically supported means of reducing arterial stiffness, wrote researchers from the NICM Centre for Study of Natural Medicines and Neurocognition in Australia. Reduction in arterial stiffness may account for some of its purported cardioprotective effects. The heart health benefits of consuming oily fish, and the omega 3 fatty acids they contain, are well documented, being first reported in the early 1970s by Dr Jorn Dyerberg and his co workers in The Lancet and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To date, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been linked to improvements in blood lipid levels, a reduced tendency of thrombosis, blood pressure and heart rate improvements, and improved vascular function.
Led by Matthew Pase, the researchers conducted the first meta analysis to examine the effects of omega 3 supplementation on the stiffness of arteries. The literature yielded ten randomised and controlled adult human clinical trials. Four trials measured pulse wave velocity and six measured arterial compliance. Analysis revealed that omega 3 was statistically significant in effectively improving both PWV and arterial compliance, wrote the researchers.
A recent article, also published in the British Journal of Nutrition , concluded that daily doses of omega 3s of at least 250 milligrams are required to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death and other heart conditions.
A dose of at least 250 mg of the long chain omega 3 fatty acids (LCFA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), was associated with a 35 percent reduction in the risk of sudden cardiac death. In addition, such doses were associated with a 17 percent decrease in the risk of fatal coronary events, according to a team of researchers from academia and industry. Thus, the intake of 250 mg omega 3 per day may be a minimum target to be achieved by the general population for the promotion of cardiovascular health, wrote authors led by Kathy Musa Veloso from Cantox Health Sciences International.
For Omega 3 Heart and Brain Benefits, the Earlier the Better
Supplements of omega 3 fatty acids for brain and heart health may need to be provided early in life to produce the most significant benefits, suggests a new study with rats.
Four months of feeding omega 3s to old rats did not affect age related declines in cognitive function, but the supplements did produce some small but positive changes to heart function, according to findings published in the Journal of Gerontology: Biological Science. Researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and University of South Dakota said that their observations did raise the possibility that fish oil supplementation for purposes of cardiac and brain protection may need to occur earlier in the life span. From a therapeutic perspective, it is not known if efficacious dosages of omega 3 that improve cardiac function in aging would also be effective for improving brain function, explained the researchers, led by Wake Forests Leanne Groban, MD. The current study was designed to explore the effects of a dietary intervention on both brain and cardiac function in the same subject using a well established model of cognitive decline in aging, they added.
Dr Groban and her co-workers used young and older male rats and fed them a standard diet for five or 24 months, respectively. After this time the animals were switched to an experimental diet containing approximately 1.75 mg EPA and 1.17 mg DHA per day per animal for one or four months, respectively. At the end of this period all animals were subjected to a range or tests to assess cardiovascular and cognitive function.
Results showed that the older animals did benefit from fish oil supplementation, but the benefits were limited to diastolic function, or the filling of the heart with blood following contraction (systolic). The younger animals had better spatial memory than the older animals, and the fish oil supplements were not associated with any reversal of the age related memory deficits or increases in inflammation in the brain, wrote the researchers.
Future studies are needed to address the hypothesis that supplementation may need to occur prior to the accumulation of inflammatory damage to be effective in brain, and almost certainly in the heart, they wrote. If the hypothesis were proven correct, it would indicate that supplementation is beneficial when used preventatively but ineffective at reversing damage if begun late in the life span after chronic inflammation has been established.
Journal of Gerontology: Biological Science 2011; Volume 66A, Issue 5, Pages 521]533, doi:10.1093/gerona/glr017 gDietary Fish Oil Modestly Attenuates the Effect of Age on Diastolic Function but Has No Effect on Memory or Brain Inflammation in Aged Ratsh Authors: S. Sergeant, J.A. McQuail, D.R. Riddle, F.H. Chilton, S.B. Ortmeier, J.A. Jessup, L. Groban, M.M. Nicolle
Volume #72 July 8, 2011 3Care Therapeutics