Year after year, heart disease causes one in every four deaths in the United States. And in my view, much of this dreadful, stagnant statistic relates to the fact that most Americans don’t eat nearly enough fish or seafood. Which is why I’ve always recommended fish oil supplementation for most people.
Plus, according to a massive, new analysis conducted by researchers with the Mayo Clinic, supplementing with fish oil can protect you from a number of deadly heart conditions. And the more you take…the greater your protection.
Let’s take a closer look…
Fish oil is finally getting the attention it deserves
Fish and seafood contain high concentrations of the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). (Fish also contains other beneficial nutrients, such as natural sources of vitamins D and E.) And supplementing with fish oil can help make sure you get enough of these important nutrients, even if you don’t eat a lot of fish or seafood.
Some of the older, original studies on fish oil supplementation turned up weak, inconclusive results. But the doses they used were ridiculously low and nowhere near the therapeutic level required to prevent heart disease—so such conclusions should be taken with a grain of salt.
Thankfully, more recent studies have begun to focus more on the importance of adequate dosing. And that point brings me back to the new, massive analysis that I mentioned at the beginning of this Dispatch…
Benefits increase with dosage increases
For this new, comprehensive analysis, researchers with the famed Mayo Clinic took an in-depth look at 40 previously published clinical trials involving more than 135,000 men and women.
Overall, the researchers found conclusive evidence linking DHA and EPA supplementation with a:
- 35 percent lower risk of suffering a fatal heart attack
- 13 percent lower risk of suffering a heart attacks of any kind
- 10 percent lower risk of suffering a coronary heart disease (CHD) event of any kind
- 9 percent lower risk of dying from CHD
In addition, the researchers found a strong “dose-response” effect. In other words, the higher the omega-3 intake, the lower the risk of suffering a cardiac event. Specifically, for each 1,000 mg increase in DHA and EPA per day, the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases decreased by 6 percent and the risk of suffering a heart attack decreased by 9 percent.
According to Carl “Chip” Lavie, M.D., a cardiologist and one of the study authors:
This study supports the notion that EPA and DHA intake contributes to cardio–protection, and whatever patients are getting through the diet, they likely need more. People should consider the benefits of omega-3 supplements at doses of 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day—far higher than what is typical, even among people who regularly eat fish. Given the safety and diminished potential for interaction with other medications, the positive results of this study strongly suggest omega-3 supplements are a relatively low-cost, high-impact way to improve heart health with few associated risks and should be considered as part of a standard preventive treatment for most patients with cardiovascular diseases and those recovering from myocardial infarctions.
So, I suppose, in his long-winded way, Dr. Lavie stumbled onto the beginnings of the truth about fish oil supplementation. But my recommendations go much farther…
Three tips for supplementing with fish oil
First of all, as Dr. Lavie’s own analysis showed, higher intakes of omega-3s offer greater protection against developing and dying from heart disease. So, you always want to take fish oil supplements that contain as many omega-3s as what you’d get by eating a healthy serving of fatty fish—like salmon.
Second, remember that fish oil supplements should literally supplement your diet. So, as I first reported years ago, the amount of fish oil you should take depends entirely on how much fish and seafood you regularly eat. In other words, there is no “one–size–fits–all” dosage recommendation.
Third, it’s imperative to choose a high-quality fish oil supplement, as there are a lot of terrible brands that contain mercury and other harmful substances. (You can learn how to spot the real deal in the October 2013 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter [“What you REALLY need to know about fish, omega-3s, and prostate cancer risk”]. If you’re not yet a subscriber, click here to get started.)
Of course, in addition to taking fish oil, there are many other natural approaches to preventing and even reversing heart disease. You can learn all about them in my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol. For more information about this innovative online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here now.
“Effect of Omega-3 Dosage on Cardiovascular Outcomes.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2020.08.034