Omega-3 Fatty Acids from Fish May Benefit Those At Risk of CAD Interview with:
Dr. Marcus E. Kleber
Fifth Department of Medicine (Nephrology, Hypertensiology, Endocrinology, Diabetology, Rheumatology), Medical Faculty of Mannheim
University of Heidelberg
Mannheim, Germany What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Many epidemiological studies found inverse associations between the concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA, and cardiovascular disease and mortality. On the other hand, most clinical trials that investigated the effect of omega-3 supplementation on cardiovascular risk failed to show a benefit. Therefore, the role of omega-3 fatty acids is still debated controversially. One problem with clinical trials is that they usually do not screen their participants for their initial omega-3 status. In our study we measured the omega-3 status of our participants using a very reliable and validated method and found an inverse association of EPA and DHA with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: People at medium to high risk for coronary events, like the participants of our study, might benefit by a higher intake of the marine omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. We would recommend that people test their individual omega-3 status. In the case of insufficient concentrations they should consume more fatty fish and consider the intake of dietary supplements. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: For the design of future clinical trials it would be advisable to only include people with an insufficient omega-3 status. Giving people omega-3 supplements whose omega-3 concentration is already in the optimal range will fail to demonstrate any benefit.
Another point for future research would be the possible reverse J-shaped relationship between EPA and mortality. Maybe there is an optimal level of EPA and too much might be harmful but we need larger studies to confirm this. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Available online 1 July 2016
Omega-3 fatty acids and mortality in patients referred for coronary angiography. The Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health Study
Marcus E. Klebera, Graciela E. Delgadoa,Stefan Lorkowski, Winfried Märza,
Clemens von Schackyf,

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on July 6, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD