Eating seafood, particularly fatty fish such as salmon, anchovies and sardines, is the optimal way to get omega-3s that will protect your heart
A study of studies has provided compelling evidence that eating Omega-3 rich seafood, like salmon, is good for your heart.
The meta-analysis, which is an in-depth review of 40 clinical trials, provides authoritative evidence for consuming more EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 fats is associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
“The study supports the notion that EPA and DHA intake contributes to cardio protection, and that whatever patients are getting through the diet, they likely need more,” said Carl “Chip” Lavie, MD, a cardiologist at Ochsner Health in New Orleans, LA, USA, and one of the study authors.
The study was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
EPA and DHA omega-3s are long-chain, marine-based fatty acids. Eating seafood, particularly fatty fish such as salmon, anchovies and sardines, is the optimal way to get EPA and DHA omega-3s, since fish also provides other beneficial nutrients. However, most people around the world eat much less than the amount of fish recommended, so supplementing with omega-3s helps close the gap, the study authors said.
The researchers found that adding an extra 1000 mg of EPA and DHA per day decreased the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack even more: risk of cardiovascular disease events decreased by 5.8 percent and risk for heart attack decreased by 9.0 percent. The study looked at dosages of up to 5500 mg/day.
This research corroborates the results of an earlier meta-analysis from Harvard School of Public Health, published in fall 2019, that looked at EPA and DHA dosage using the 13 largest clinical studies. This new paper encompasses more than triple the number of studies, which represents the totality of the evidence to date and includes more than 135,000 study participants.
“When separate analyses arrive at similar results, that’s not only validating; it also underscores the science base needed to inform future intake recommendations,” said co-author Aldo Bernasconi, PhD, Vice President of Data Science for the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED), Salt Lake City, UT, USA, which commissioned this study.
“Because this paper included more studies and all dosages, the estimates for a dose-response are more precise and the conclusions stronger,” he said.
The latest findings come in the wake of a July scientific paper by researchers at Dalhousie University who found farmed Atlantic salmon to be among the best options available when it comes the nutritional quality of salmon in Canada.
The study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Research found farmed Atlantic and farmed organic Atlantic salmon had the lowest amounts of mercury, with relatively high omega-3 when compared to wild Pacific salmon.
Earlier in the year, wild fish harvesters and aquaculture groups in the U.S. came together to launch a consumer-facing campaign to help Americans stay healthy during the current COVID-19 public health crisis as well as help boost the U.S. seafood economy.
“There is strong scientific evidence that eating a balanced diet with seafood rich in micronutrients and omega-3s reduces risks of chronic diseases, boosts immunity, and reduces inflammation in the body,” said Dr. Tom Brenna, Chair of the SNP Scientific & Nutrition Advisory Council and professor at University of Texas-Austin.
The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) said eating seafood twice a week contributes to a healthier diet and can play an important role in improving the health of Canadians of all ages.
“Farmed and wild fish offer the same health benefits, so you can feel good about choosing either. Farmed seafood has the additional benefit of being available fresh, year-round,” states CAIA, reaffirming long-held observations about the health benefits of seafood.
“All seafood, whether raised sustainably or caught responsibly can significantly improve overall health…our objective is to get people to eat more of it for their health,” Linda Cornish, president of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, told Seawestnews in an earlier interview.
“Both farmed and wild salmon have similar amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids which improves brain function and overall health according to the USDA (US Department of Agriculture),” Cornish said.
(Image courtesy of Mowi)