Fighting Heart Disease: Fish-based or Plant-based Omega-3s?
Even though Omega-3 and cardiovascular health have been associated for decades, the health and wellness community has continued to raise questions concerning their effectiveness in reducing the risk of cardiovascular illness. Recently, 50 researchers representing nine different countries came together to study the effects of a diet rich in plant and fish-based omega-3s on the incidence of coronary heart disease. Here’s what they found…
Published late last month, ω-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Biomarkers and Coronary Heart Disease is a study that pooled and analyzed data from 19 different companion studies. Unlike many of the studies that have previously been conducted on the effects of omega-3s, the goal of this study was to analyze the impact of an omega-3-rich diet on cardiovascular health incidents and disease at the individual level over a long period of time.
Omega-3 Heart Disease Study - How Does Omega-3 Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease?
Here's a brief overview of what the researchers were working with:
- 19 unique studies involving 16 different countries
- 45,637 unique participants (Ranging from 18-97 years, with 59 as the median age)
- 7,973 incidents of coronary heart disease (2,781 of those incidents were fatal)
- 7,157 nonfatal cardiovascular events
After sifting through all of the data that had been gathered, researchers drew an interesting conclusion concerning the links between a diet rich in omega-3 and cardiovascular health and also the incidence of coronary heart disease.
Fish-Based Omega-3s, Plant-Based Omega-3s & Incidence of Coronary Heart Disease
Researchers found that both plant and fish-based omega-3s were associated with a decreased risk of fatal coronary heart disease (by about 10%).
In an equally promising discovery, researchers also found that for participants who had the highest omega-3 levels in their bloodstream there was as much as a 25% lower risk of a fatal coronary incident.
(Potential) Long-Term Implications
Findings like the ones reported by this study may help fuel the growing consumer demand for plant-based omega-3s and help shift our industry towards ingredient solutions that are both more sustainable and more environmentally-aware.
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