A brilliant and very large observational study about fish oil recently made some headlines. It linked regular fish oil consumption with a lower risk of cardiovascular events like stroke and heart attack, a lower risk of heart disease death, and a lower risk of death by any cause.
Obviously, I’m surprised in the least. But I am excited to share these results with you. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in…
Benefits across the board
This research looked at upwards of half a million adults, all enrolled in the U.K. Biobank study between 2006 and 2010.
Just over 30 percent of the study participants reported taking fish oil on a regular basis. And researchers compared their health outcomes with patients who never took fish oil supplements.
Researchers found a:
- 7 percent lower risk of cardiovascular events, including stroke and heart attack
- 16 percent lower risk of heart disease death
- 13 percent lower risk of all-cause mortality
Interestingly, the links between lower mortality and fish oil use were stronger among men and current smokers than they were among women and non-smokers. Nevertheless, these benefits aren’t exactly small potatoes.
But of course, there are still skeptics. And as usual, they cite conflicting clinical results—most of which suffered from poor study design. (Or the fact that their conclusions were likely often drawn from the wrong patient population, or one that was too ill to benefit.)
What more do they need?! Just last week, I wrote about a prescription drug version of EPA. You’d think any of this would be enough to shut the naysayers up, but… apparently not.
Supplementation just makes sense
Still, I see results like this as incredibly promising. Which is one reason why I have—and always will—advise everyone I know to take fish oil. Not least of all because, conflicting studies or not, there doesn’t appear to be a shred of harm in doing so.
None of the studies showed fish oil was dangerous… so what, exactly, is the fuss?
Oh, that’s right. Because even though Big Pharma has dipped their toes into this water, we’re still not talking about a pharmaceutical product. Because believe me, if you had these results for any patentable drug, it would be the best thing since… well, statins. (In their minds, at least.)
Yes, I can accept limitations. Any observational study has them. Just as I’m always telling you that correlation isn’t the same as causation.
But we know that a plethora of studies demonstrate the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids—from both fish oil and flax or chia seed. So it’s not like anyone’s pulling this perfectly reasonable recommendation out of thin air.
We’re talking about a safe, natural, and affordable way to combat heart disease—a prevention-focused goal that serves the public health first and foremost. (Though sometimes it seems like I’m the only one who cares about that anymore.)
Still, I have a feeling we’ll be arguing about fish oil for many decades to come. And I’ll keep fighting the good fight, every step of the way. In the meantime, continue taking your fish oil supplement. I recommend three grams (3,000 mg) of EPA/DHA daily.
P.S. In addition to taking fish oil supplements daily, I recommend a handful of other supplement and lifestyle changes to help keep your heart healthy in my Ultimate Heart-Protection Protocol. To learn more, or to enroll in this innovative online learning course, click here now!
“Benefits of Fish Oil Resurface, but Do They Hold Water?” Medscape Medical News, 03/12/2020. (medscape.com/viewarticle/926684)