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Fish oil supplements as a new strategy in heart failure

Fish oil supplements as a new strategy in heart failureHeart failure is a disease with a variety of different symptoms and a high mortality rate because the heart’s pumping function is impaired. Heart failure is also characterized by chronic inflammation that worsens the prognosis. Apparently, fish oil supplementation can reduce chronic inflammation, according to a meta-analysis that is published in Heart Failure Reviews. In fact, eating more omega-3 fatty acids from fish and different plant sources can improve survival in heart failure.

Heart failure makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood with oxygen and nutrients to the different parts of the body, which is why this condition is linked to symptoms such as breathing difficulty, fatigue, rapid heart rate, chest pain, and fluid retention and swelling in the ankles, legs, and other places. Many patients feel despair, depression, and anxiety. Heart failure is progressive ailment, and half of patients die within five years of being diagnosed with the disease.
Heart failure is often characterized by chronic inflammation that results in oxidative stress that can damage cells and the circulatory system, which worsens the prognosis. The purpose of the new study was to evaluate whether omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can lower inflammation markers in patients with heart failure.

  • The most frequent causes of heart failure are coronary occlusion, coronary thrombosis, hypertension, heart valve disease, too slow or too rapid heart rate, myocarditis, and poisoning.

Fish oil supplements lower inflammation markers

Using the databases, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library, the scientists gathered information from a number of randomized controlled studies, 10 of which were eligible for the meta-analysis. After analyzing the studies, the scientists found that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids positively affected the two proinflammatory markers, TNF-a (tumor necrosis factor alpha) and IL-6 (interleukin-6). However, no changes were observed with regard to CRP (C-reactive protein), which is another inflammation marker. They concluded that fish oil supplementation appears to be a useful, inexpensive, and convenient strategy for reducing inflammation in patients with chronic heart failure. Their research results support earlier studies.

  • Heart failure is the leading cause of death in the United States and the rest of the world.

High dietary omega-3 intake improves survival in heart failure

Omega-3 fatty acids have many other functions in the body, which are important for the structural integrity of cell membranes, cholesterol levels, the cardiovascular system, and heart function. A diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) from oily fish and ALA (alphalinolenic acid) from plant sources such as walnuts improves the prognosis of heart failure by lowering the risk of coronary thrombosis and early death. This was seen in a different study that is published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Recommendations for omega-3 fatty acids from oily fish

Eating at least 350 mg of fish per week is a good way to get the recommended amount of fish, and this should ideally include at least 200 grams of oily fish like herring, salmon, or mackerel, which contain the most omega-3. If you buy fish oil supplements, make sure to choose a high-quality preparation. Also beware that it takes around a month for the optimal effect of the fish oil to kick in.

Q10 may also improve heart failure survival

Coenzyme Q10 is important for cellular energy turnover but it also serves as an antioxidant and protects against oxidative stress. The heart beats around the clock and therefore needs a substantial amount of Q10. However, tissue samples have revealed that many heart failure patients have low concentrations of Q10 in their heart muscle. The Q-Symbio study that is published in JACC Heart Failure shows that daily supplementation with 300 mg of pharmaceutical-grade Q10 lowers mortality and improves the heart muscle function in heart failure patients.


Konstatinos Prokopidis et al. Does omega-3 supplementation improve the inflammatory profile of patients with heart failure? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Heart Failure Review. 2023

Emily Henderson. Foods rich in omega-3 EPA and ALA improve outcomes in people who suffered serious heart attack. News Medical Life Sciences. Oct. 28, 2020

Helse-redaktionen. Hjertesvigt – den skjulte dræber. Magasinet

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