Confused About Fish Oil Benefits? Here Are Some Studies

A study published in J.Of Amer.Medical Assoc. says FISH OIL-OMEGA 3 does no good.

The Journal of American Medical Association published a study by a Greek doctor on Fish Oil. This report was picked up by media which gave it different spins.

Brian Williams of NBC with Robert Bazell gave more balanced reporting.I suggest you see that Video. Headlines in Bloomberg,Forbes were misleading.

So what's the truth?

During 1999-2005, Mochida Corp. of Japan conducted a very large study of Japanese people with Epadel and w/o Epadel. Epadel is over 90% EPA with almost no DHA.

FYI most of Fish oil Omega3 sold have high% of DHA--which raises LDL etc.Even Lovaza and Triplix -presription drugs have high% of DHA and their labeling says that it raises LDL.Recently FDA asked Lovaza to state that IT MAY CAUSE ATRIAL FIBRILLATION.

Back to the JELIS study:

The JELIS STUDY found that Epadel reduces heart attacks and heart deaths significantly.

FDA approved a new drug VASCEPA 6 weeks ago.This drug reduces bad LIPID while lowering trigylcerides significantly.

The only side effect reported was joint pain in some patients—less than 2%.

The FDA asked Amarin to conduct a large-scale study at $125 million over 4 to 5 years to study if VASCEPA lowers heart attacks or deaths. Dr. Deepak Bhatt of Harvard is doing this VASCEPA study for 8,000 persons in the U.S. and Europe, so wait for results in 2015 or 2016.

Now Vascepa is recommended for Patients with VERY HIGH trigylcerides, more than 500mg. Next year, the FDA may approve Vascepa for people with more than 200mg trigylcerides.

What should you do if your trigylcerides are below 200mg?

Take generic Lipitor or Crestor.

You can take Fish Oil supplements, but you MUST GET YOUR BLOOD checked once a year and discuss Fish oil OMEGA 3 with your doctor. 

NBC—Robert Bazell quoted a Harvard Professor: It does not harm you but may not help you. So please listen to that video.

Brian Williams and I grew up in same area: Elmira, Corning, NY.

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If Fish Oil does not help,what does? GET C-RP test done.Watch your C-RP. I found an article where Dr.Bhatt was interviewed. http://burst.to/eB Fish oil may not reduce heart attacks or strokes. Same with Lovaza. A 6 years study--ORIGIN data was published in New England Journal-top journal. This study used Lovaza--Results were disappointing in reducing heart attacks or strokes. So what should we do-- EXPLORE VASCEPA which will be available in Jan.2013 with prescription only. This drug was study in Marine 3 trials--it did reduce C-reactive protein(hs-CRP). Dr.Topol of Cleveland Clinic did lot of research and reported C-RP is a good indicator of possible heart attack.It detects INFLAMMATION in our arteries.If they are inflammed--Need ACTION. VASCEPA reduces Inflammation or reduces CRP if taken in 4 gram/day dosage. But it is approved now for people with greater than 500mg trigylcerides. Next year in July,2013--this product may be approved for people with 200-500mg of trigylcerides. So what if your Trigyl.are below 200mg--First you are in better shape than many. Consult your doctor and get C-reactive protein test besides the regular LIPID profile(fasting blood test). Watch C-RP every year.
VASCEPA reduces CRP a test for inflammation of arteries. Please listen to Dr.Bhatt's interview on Fish oil. http://burst.to/eB VASCEPA,approved 6 weeks ago by FDA is the best drug for lowering trigylcerides and other Lipid indicators LDL and C-rp for inflammation of arteries. Dr.Eric Topol and others wrote that this is one of the best test for predicting on coming stroke or heart attack. http://www.ccjm.org/content68/6/521.full.pdf This was published 10 years ago.
CRP test--correct URL http://www.ccjm.org/content/68/6/521.full.pdf
C-reactive Protein--A Golden marker "for inflammation and coronary artery disease" is a MUST READ. VASCEPA reduces C-rp
Joel Barredo September 14, 2012 at 11:23 PM
If one reads the abstract and expects that it has given them a good perspective of the study performed, they have been SERIOUSLY MISLED! The abstract does not reveal anything about the context of which any of the studies were performed, or really qualifiers that a medical professional would expect from the abstract. Their conclusion is even misleading. It is almost as if it is written from a biased perspective. I have seen high school science fair abstracts that provide better more honest abstracts. I believe the scientific abstract should be as objective as possible and provide a very good overview to the occasional reader, who would like a quick and easy overview of the study performed without having to sort through the details. After reading the meta-analysis in its entirety, I came to the following conclusion. The studied populations were very old, almost all geriatric. The amount of fish oils taken per day was approximately <1g fish oil per day across most of the studies. Most of the studies analyzed were of only 1 year duration. The placebos across all studies were substantially different and poorly qualified. Many of the utilized studies used placebos/controls that contained comparative amounts of biologically active compounds (Plant derived PUFAs), furthermore confounding the nature of this meta-analysis because there is a serious lack of RCT analyzing the effect of different plant derived PUFAs.
Joel Barredo September 14, 2012 at 11:48 PM
The AMA made made a statement in their e-mail bomb newsletter saying "Fish oil supplements may have little impact on heart health." They further quoted excerpts from many different news organizations in reference to the study---the news organizations seem to have been brainwashed unable to provide independent opinions of the study. They simply mind numbingly paraphrased the abstract without any significant critical analysis of the study and its conclusions. I was thoroughly disappointed by the the AMA and all of the news organizations involved with this information release to the public. I find the actions of the media and the AMA in this regard to be very negligent in regard to the responsibility they have assumed in regards to how they affect society and public health. Medical and News organizations are generally a trusted source of information for the general public and many physicians too. I have patients, friends, and family-young and old-who have stated they would change their diet (decrease fish) and stop using fish oil supplements as a result of what they heard on the news about this study. I have encouraged them to ignore the news & educated them about the best studies of cardiovascular disease. I told them I had a poor opinion of the particular studies reported, and why I thought their conclusion did not apply to them--most were not 60+ years old taking 1g fish oil qd as primary/secondary/ICD interventions for major adverse cardiac events.
There is a study done called ORIGIN--for 6 years--whose results are published in New England Journal of medicine. Please read Dr.Bhatt's comments on the problems with that study and listen to his interview. http://burst.to/eB Another Harvard professor was interviewed on NBC news--His comments were to "Eat Salmon etc."You may want to see that Video. He said,"Fish Pills DO NO HARM,but NO good either" although some people interviewed said that their LIPID profile improved. My advice: See your doctor and have a blood test with LIPID profile--and then watch results with Statins prescribed by your doctor and Fish oil. If your triglycerides are VERY HIGH--then ask your doctor to prescribe VASCEPA.He should know that by end of Dec.2012 or beginning of Jan.2013. OUTCOME trials for VASCEPA are going on--8000 patients should be enrolled by Dec.2012.This is a well designed study for 4 years by Dr.Bhatt. This study is looking for composite endpoints of CardioVascular deaths,MI,Stroke,Coronary vascularization and hospitalization for unstable angina. My hunch is: With Lipitor or CRESTOR--Vascepa could be BLOCKBUSTER drug in lowering MAJOR CORONARY EVENTS. JOEL--your points are good about JAMA article and ORIGIN STUDY. Dr.Bhatt makes the same points--Improper Dosage-Read his comments for ORIGIN study.
Fish Oil as well as Lovaza contains EPA,DHA--so although LOVAZA lowered trigylcerides-it raised LDL--which is more important. JELIS study in Japan for 18645 patients for 6 years proved 19% reduction in major Coronary events with EPADEL. EPADEL is>90% EPA ,VASCEPA is 96% pure EPA---So >96% pure EPA in 4 grams/day dosage is needed to REDUCE CV events. Most of the studies--were not done well with proper dosages and High risk population.
AMR101(VASCEPA) clinical trials URL: http://clinicaltrialsgps.com/search-clinical-trials/trial-28651/?Location=69648 These trials are enrolling patients in 22 states ,may expand to other centers and in many countries like Austalia,Europe,India etc. The dosage is 4 grams/day. Population is >45 years old with certain indications. Limiting it to some groups is important --even Lipitor was studied in limited population. Reason: Gain some information on its effectiveness in population with certain LIPID profile--where Lipitor was likely to be prescribed. You are right that Fish Oil studies were not well planned. But ORIGIN study published in New England Journal of Medicine in July,2012 was paid by SANOFI and Used drug by Pronova(Lovaza name in US and Omacor in Europe). LOVAZA is approved by FDA--even received New Chemical entity status for 8 years. Results of LOVAZA were not significant improvement. Dr.Bhatt's concern-dosage may have been too low. My question: Why study for 6 years without Correct dosage? Why did Pronova or Sanofi or other researchers offer their criticism 6 years ago?


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