Fish Oil and Atherosclerosis

Fish Oil and Atherosclerosis

MUNICH, GERMANY. Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) can lead to serious issues, such as stroke, heart attack, and even death. German medical researchers have released the results of a major study which proves that fish oil supplementation is highly beneficial to patients suffering from atherosclerosis.

Safe and Well-Tolerated in Coronary Atherosclerosis Patients

Their randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial involved 162 patients with confirmed atherosclerosis. Half the patients were given six grams of fish oils per day for three months while the other half were given six grams per day of placebo capsules containing a fatty acid composition resembling that of the average European diet. After three months the dosages were reduced to three grams/day for a further 21 months. Angiograms were taken at the start of the trial and at the end of the two-year study period. At the end of the treatment twice as many of the patients in the fish oil group (16) showed regression of their atherosclerotic deposits when compared to the placebo group. Three patients in the placebo group suffered a non-fatal heart attack during the 2-year period as compared to only one in the fish oil group. All told there were seven patients in the placebo group who had a cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke) as compared to only two in the fish oil group. The researchers conclude that fish oil supplementation is beneficial for atherosclerosis patients and is safe and well-tolerated.

Note: This study was partially funded by Pronova A.S., a Norwegian fish oil producer.

von Schacky, Clemens, et al. The effect of dietary omega-3 fatty acids on coronary atherosclerosis. Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol. 130, April 6, 1999, pp. 554-62

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Category: Atherosclerosis