Omega-3s again linked to lower heart failure risk

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Omega-3s again linked to lower heart failure risk

Related tags: Heart failure, Omega-3 fatty acid

Consuming fish at least once a month, and increased blood levels of  ALA and DPA, may reduce the risk of heart failure, says a new study that adds to the heart health benefits of omega-3.

Data from over 20,000 people indicated that higher blood levels of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) had a 34% lower risk, compared with people with lower levels, according to findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition​.

In addition, the higher average levels of DPA (docosapentaenoic acid) were associated with a 45% reduction, compared with lower levels, report researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and the University of Minnesota.

However, blood levels of EPA and DHA were not associated with heart failure risk, they added.


The heart health benefits of fish oil, and the omega-3 fatty acids it contains, 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.


Commenting on the study’s findings, Harry Rice, PhD, VP of regulatory and scientific affairs for GOED, told NutraIngredients-USA that the results corroborate previous findings from the Cardiovascular Health Study demonstrating a lower risk of heart failure associated with modest fish intake.

“With respect to heart failure and Omega-3s, think GISSI-HF, a randomized clinical trial in which long-term administration of 1g/day of long-chain omega-3s (compared to placebo) to nearly 7000 patients with heart failure was effective in significantly reducing all-cause mortality.

“The results were particularly impressive when you consider that patients were being maintained on cocktails of cardio drugs.”

Study details

The Boston- and Minnesota-based researchers analyzed data from 1,572 people from a case-control study, and 19,097 people from a cohort. The mean age of the people at the time of the blood collection was 58.7.

Results showed that at least one serving of fish per month was associated with a 30% reduction in heart failure risk. There was a trend toward a lower risk for increased intakes of marine fatty acids, but this did not reach statistical significance.

“Because the study participants were male physicians, it is unclear whether the results are generalizable to women and the general population,”​ wrote the researchers.

“Our data are consistent with an inverse and nonlinear relation of plasma phospholipid ALA and DPA, but not EPA and DHA, with heart failure risk. Fish consumption greater than once per month was associated with a lower risk of heart failure.”

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.042671
“Plasma and dietary omega-3 fatty acids, fish intake, and heart failure risk in the Physicians’ Health Study”
Authors: J.B. Wilk, M.Y. Tsai, N.Q. Hanson, J.M. Gaziano, L. Djousse

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Resveratrol and Sports Nutrition: A Winning Combo

Resveratrol and Sports Nutrition: A Winning Combo

Evolva | 18-Oct-2019 | Technical / White Paper

In addition to physical activity, research indicates that resveratrol can be a key ingredient for top sports performance. Not only has resveratrol been...

Vitamin K2 Success Stories: NattoPharma

Vitamin K2 Success Stories: NattoPharma

NattoPharma USA, Inc. | 23-Sep-2019 | Case Study

Partnership means companies are bound to the process – from formulation and testing to marketing and meeting demand. That is what companies selecting MenaQ7®...

Gemini Pharmaceuticals and Transparency

Gemini Pharmaceuticals and Transparency

Gemini Pharmaceuticals | 01-Sep-2019 | Application Note

The industry has shown improvement in its transparency in the past 5 years. Per the regulations, a Brand Owner is 100% responsible for the quality of...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Featured Events

View more


View more