Statins update

September 11, 2008

A new trial has shown that taking an omega-3 fish oil capsule outperforms a statin drug in reducing mortality and hospital admissions for chronic heart failure.

The results of the recent Italian study were given at the European Society of Cardiology meeting and published online by The Lancet on 31 August 2008. The patients on omega-3 supplements showed a lowered risk of mortality compared to those heart failure patients who received 10 mg/day of a potent statin drug and others given a placebo. The patients given the statin showed no benefit and in fact had the same outcome as taking the placebo.

What this study suggests is that a daily intake of omega-3 fatty acid supplement for close to four years may provide a slight reduction in mortality or hospitalizations for patients with chronic heart failure and that treatment with statins does not appear to be beneficial in patients with chronic heart failure. The American College of Cardiology has predicted that the results would soon be rapidly incorporated into their guidelines on heart failure. This is the second trial to demonstrate benefit for omega-3 in cardiovascular disease: the first trial found that omega-3 reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events following a heart attack whereas the second appears to lower the risk of mortality from heart disease.

If you are concerned about your risk for heart disease and want to take preventive measures, the suggested supplemental daily dose of omega-3 is equivalent to a gram day, taken for at least four years continuously – or seriously increase your intake of sardines and other oily fish!


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