Industry-sponsored studies of the week: two on omega-3 supplements
I. Expert Opinion on Benefits of Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids (DHA and EPA) in Aging and Clinical Nutrition, Troesch B, et al. Nutrients 2020;12(9):2555.
Conclusion: The evidence to date indicates that the provision of DHA and EPA through capsules, oral nutrition supplements, or enteral or parenteral formulas can help to regulate the inflammatory environment in a number of medical conditions and that this is linked in many cases to improved function, clinical course and outcomes.
Objectives: “To quantify the effect of eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids on cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention and the effect of dosage.”
Conclusion: “Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide. Supplementation with EPA and DHA is an effective lifestyle strategy for CVD prevention, and the protective effect probably increases with dosage.”
Potential Competing Interests: “Dr Bernasconi is an employee of the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED), a 501(c)6 not-for profit trade association. GOED’s goals are to increase consumption of omega3s to adequate levels around the world and to ensure that the industry is producing quality omega-3 products that consumers can trust. Dr Wiest has been a guest speaker with travel sponsored by DSM Nutritional Products and the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED); and has received funding from GOED to conduct a meta-analysis on omega-3 fatty acids. Dr Lavie has been a speaker for Amarin Corporation on Vascepa, has consulted for DSM Nutritional Products, and has made an omega-3 educational video at the American Heart Association meeting on November 14, 2016, for the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s and also gave a presentation at a GOED-hosted omega-3 conference in Barcelona, Spain, in February 2020. The remaining authors report no potential competing interests.”
Grant Support: “This study was supported by a grant from the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED), Salt Lake City, UT.”
Comment: The Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s “represents the worldwide EPA and DHA omega-3 industry…Our mission is to increase consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3s…” Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to human health and are widely available from green leafy vegetables (in the form of ALA) as well as from fish (EPA and DHA). ALA is converted in the body to EPA and DHA. The benefits of omega-3 supplements, as I just explained, are not well established. This trade association for EPA and DHA supplements funded this study to demonstrate the benefits of these products. Caveat emptor.