Researchers from the Fatty Acid Research Institute (FARI) and collaborators at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and in Orange County, California have published the first direct evidence that high levels of omega-3 in the blood may reduce the risk of death from COVID-19 infection. The report was published in the magazine Prostaglandins, leukotrienes and essential fatty acids On January 20, 2021.
There are several research papers in the medical literature that postulate that omega-3 fatty acids should have beneficial effects in patients with COVID-19 infection, but to date, there have been no peer-reviewed studies that support this hypothesis.
This study involved 100 patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 and whose blood samples were stored. Clinical results were obtained for these patients and blood was analyzed for omega-3 marker (O3I, EPA + DHA red blood cell membrane levels) in OmegaQuant Analytics (Sioux Falls, SD). Fourteen patients died.
100 patients were grouped into four quarters according to O3I, with 25% of patients in each quarter. There was one death in the top quartile (that is, 1 death in 25 patients with O3I> 5.7%), with 13 deaths in the remaining patients (i.e. 13 deaths out of 75 patients with O3I)
In age and sex-adjusted regression analyzes, those in the upper quadrant (O3I> 5.7%) had 75% less likely to die than those in the lower three quadrants (p = 0.07). In other words, the relative risk of death was about four times higher in those with lower O3I (
“ Although standard statistical significance thresholds are not met, this pilot study – together with numerous evidence regarding the anti-inflammatory effects of EPA and DHA – strongly suggests that these nutritionally available marine fatty acids may help reduce the risk of negative outcomes in COVID-19 patients. “It is clear that larger studies are needed to confirm these preliminary findings,” said Arash Usher, MD, lead author of the study.
In agreement with Dr. Asher, a cardiology researcher and co-developer with Dr. Harris of the Omega-3 Index, Clemens von Schacky, MD, (CEO of Omegametrix GmbH, Martinsried, Germany, and not involved in the study), said, “Asher et al. The omega-3 index may be a strong predictor of death from COVID-19. Although their findings are encouraging, it is clear that they need to be repeated.
Omega-3 expert James H. O’Keeff Jr. (Director of Preventive Cardiology, St. Luke’s Central American Heart Institute, Kansas City, Missouri, and also not involved in the study), noted an “ excessive inflammatory response, referred to as a ‘cytokine storm,’ which is A primary mediator of severe COVID-19 disease.Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) have powerful anti-inflammatory activities, and this pilot study provides suggestive evidence that these fatty acids may dampen the cytokine storm of COVID-19.
The FARI Research Team is currently seeking funding to expand on these initial observations. Individuals and organizations who wish to support this research are encouraged to visit the FARI Donations Page.
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About the Fatty Acid Research Institute (FARI)
The Fatty Acids Research Institute (FARI) is a not-for-profit research and educational institution. FARI was founded in order to accelerate the discovery of the health effects of fatty acids, most notably the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. FARI researchers and scientists with a single mindset will focus on publishing high-quality research studies on the multiple relationships between fatty acid levels and human (and animal) health outcomes. These studies will improve our ability to predict disease risk and, most importantly, suggest ways to reduce risk by changing our diets and / or supplementation regimes.
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About Cedars Sinai Medical Center
Cedars-Sinai is a non-profit academic healthcare organization serving the diverse community of Los Angeles and beyond. Through groundbreaking medical research achievements, educational programs that define the future of healthcare, and large-scale community benefit activities, Cedars-Sinai is setting new standards for quality and innovation in patient care.
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