Tag Archives: Omega 3 FA

Eat Your Eggs

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, appointed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has lifted the restriction on dietary cholesterol from the upcoming 2015 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Recommendations to cut back on dietary cholesterol have been a mainstay of U.S. guidelines for years. This change, which has been long coming, reflects a major shift in the scientific view of cholesterol. Although serum cholesterol is still considered an important risk factor, consuming cholesterol does not increase the blood cholesterol levels. The committee’s new report states, “Cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for over consumption.”

No Benefit of Fish Oil Supplementation for Preventing Heart Disease

Consumption of fatty fish rich in long-chain ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty
acids is associated with lower risk for heart disease
and death, but no heart benefits have been demonstrated for
supplementation with ω-3 fatty acids. The macular xanthophylls lutein
and zeaxanthin are purported to have anti-inflammatory effects, and
people with higher lutein levels have lower levels of coronary

In this study participants were randomized to daily DHA (350 mg) plus EPA (650 mg),
lutein (10 mg) plus zeaxanthin (2 mg), both, or neither. During median
follow-up of about 5 years, 460 CV events were identified. Incidence
of these events did not differ significantly among the four groups,
nor did adverse events.

This is the latest of several large trials to show no benefit of fish
oil supplementation in lowering risk for cardiovascular disease (NEJM
JW Gen Med May 8 2013). As with most dietary supplements,
epidemiological associations that suggested lower risk have not been
borne out in clinical trials of supplementation. Eating Atlantic
salmon and trout is still a better bet.

Bonds DE et al., JAMA Intern Med 2014 May 174:763

FDA Approves New Omega-3 Supplement

The FDA has approved a new omega-3 supplement (brand name, Epanova) to 
treat adults with severe hypertriglyceridemia, defined as triglyceride 
levels 500 mg/dL or higher.

In its announcement, the manufacturer said that Epanova is the first 
omega-3 formulation approved by the FDA in free fatty acid form. It 
will be available in 1-g capsules and has been approved for 2-g and 4-
g dosages, which can be taken with or without food.

There are currently two other prescription formulations of omega-3 
supplements on the market: Lovaza and Vascepa. All three are approved 
only for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia, though studies 
of expanded indications are underway.

By Larry Husten