Men and women with mild to severe chronic heart failure (CHF) who took a 1,000 mg omega-3 fish oil capsule per day were 9 percent less likely to die from any cause than were those who took a placebo. In CHF, the heart weakens and does not pump enough blood. About 7,000 people took part in the study.
In another branch of the four-year study, doctors followed about 4,500 men and women with CHF who took 10 mg of the statin drug Crestor (rosuvastatin) per day or a placebo. Because statins can lower cholesterol, researchers expected the drug to extend life, but were surprised to find no difference between Crestor and placebo. Commenting on the findings, Gregg C. Fonarow, MD, said that statin therapy “…does not produce meaningful improvements in survival in patients with chronic heart failure.” Investigators concluded that doctors should not prescribe statins for CHF.
In another CHF study, seven participants whose hearts pumped about one-fifth the amount of blood of the healthy heart and who were expected to live less than six months, took 450 mg of ubiquinol per day. After three months, heart pumping capacity had increased an average of 35 percent and all participants survived past six months. Study author Peter Langsjoen, MD, noted, “The effects of ubiquinol on late-stage heart failure patients resulted in striking improvements beyond anything I’ve seen in 25 years of cardiology practice.” Ubiquinol is the most common form of coenzyme Q10 in the blood.
In a study of hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), researchers measured blood levels of omega-3 in about 900 men, aged 40 to 49, one-third of whom were Japanese men living in Japan, one-third were Caucasian-American and one-third were third or fourth generation Japanese-American. Compared to the two American groups, the Japanese men had the highest blood levels of omega-3 and the least atherosclerosis. Because the two groups of American men had similarly high levels of atherosclerosis, doctors concluded that it is likely the Japanese diet—which is high in fish—and not genetics that accounted for the difference and recommended that Americans increase omega-3 supplements.
Reference: Lancet; electronic pre-publication.