Fish oil supplementation likely reduces cardiovascular morbidity and mortality

1. Regular consumption of fish oil is likely associated with decreased all-cause and cardiovascular disease risk.

2. Consumption of fish oil was associated with decreased incidence of cardiovascular events with effects being most pronounced in patients with hypertension.

Evidence Rating: 2 (Good)

Lifestyle modification and dietary supplementation have long been recognized as potential avenues of additional therapeutic options to manage and prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD).  Fish oil and omega 3 fatty acid supplementation have previously been recognized as products that could potentially prevent CVD and have widespread usage globally despite follow-up investigations providing inconclusive results. To better characterize its suitability for usage in the general population, researchers conducted a large-scale cohort study consisting of 427,678 participants aged 40 to 69 in the UK investigating the associations between fish oil supplementation with all-cause mortality, CVD mortality, and CVD events, consisting of strokes and myocardial infarction. Median follow up times were 9 years for mortality outcomes and 8.1 years for CVD events. Compared to controls, the cohort of 133,438 participants self-reporting habitual use of fish oil supplements had lower hazard ratios for all-cause mortality (0.87; 95% CI 0.83 – 0.90), CVD mortality (0.84; 95% CI, 0.78 – 0.91), and CVD events (0.93; 95% CI, 0.90 – 0.96). The effect of CVD event mitigation was most pronounced with patients with hypertension. Results were independent of possible confounding risk factors such as sex, BMI, physical activity, and diet. Findings from the study provide further evidence to suggest a role for fish oil supplementation in providing a marginal benefit for CVD management and the prevention of mortality from all causes and CVD.

Click to read the study in BMJ

Image: PD

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