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Omega-3s in supplements could pose heart risk

Researchers in the United States (U.S.) have found that the combination of Omega-3s in supplements aimed to improve heart health could ultimately pose risks. These were the results of a new research presented virtually at the 2021 American College of Cardiology’s Scientific Session, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia from May 15 to 17. Doctors often recommend Omega-3s to help patients lower their cholesterol and improve heart health. Those Omega-3s can come from fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, or supplements that often contain a combination of the acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

The new research from the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute in Salt Lake City in the U.S., found that higher EPA blood levels alone lowered the risk of major cardiac events and death in patients, while DHA blunted the cardiovascular benefits of EPA. Higher DHA levels at any level of EPA, worsened health outcomes, the study showed. Principal investigator of the study, Viet T. Le, MPAS, PA, researcher and cardiovascular physician assistant at the Intermountain Heart Institute, said these results raised further concerns about the use of combined EPA/DHA, particularly through supplements, the ‘SciTechDaily’ reported. “Based on these and other findings, we can still tell our patients to eat Omega-3 rich foods, but we should not be recommending them in pill form as supplements or even as combined (EPA + DHA) prescription products,” he said. “Our data adds further strength to the findings of the recent REDUCE-IT (2018) study that EPA-only prescription products reduce heart disease events.”

 

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