There are many research-based reasons to make you feel good about recommending omega-3s to your patients. EPA and DHA omega-3s are backed by decades of research showcasing their benefits for 4 areas in particular: heart, brain, eye, and prenatal health. Omega-3s aren’t just beneficial – they’re vitally important for every cell in the body.
Cardiovascular Health: How Omega-3s Help the Heart
According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year — that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.1 Most Americans (95.7%) are below the cardioprotective levels of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids without even knowing it.2
A 2012 study reported that low omega-3 intake was estimated to contribute to 54,626 cardiometabolic deaths.3 Similarly, a 2013 meta-analysis of interventional clinical trials found that 22% of disability-adjusted life years lost are attributable to insufficient EPA/DHA intake, and that every additional 100 mg/d reduces the risk of coronary heart disease death by 5%.4
This research brings omega-3s to the forefront in reducing cardiac death risk. A meta-analysis published in 2017 showed that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3s reduced the risk of cardiac death by a statistically significant average of 8%.5 The meta-analysis showed even greater — 17% — risk reduction in groups who had elevated triglycerides or LDL cholesterol. The greatest reduction in cardiac death rates — an almost 30% risk reduction — was observed in trials that utilized dosages of more than 1 g of EPA and DHA per day.