Ohana Health - Prevention and Renewal

Selected Clinical Studies

Omega-3There are many companies selling omega-3 who refer to omega-3's health benefits. Few however, can state that the marine oil in their product has been the subject of extensive clinical studies.

The Omega-3 For Life 40:20 TG marine oil, however, has been the subject of more than 100 clinical studies, making it the most studied, best documented omega-3 oil in the world.


The following is a summary of some of these studies.

(While it is the same oil, there may be minor differences between the EPA/DHA ratio in the studied oil and Omega-3 For LIfe in some studies).

1) Christensen JH et al. N-3 fatty acids and ventricular extrasystoles in patients with ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Nutrition Research 1995;15:1-8.

The purpose of the study was to examine the effect of dietary supplement with omega-3 fatty acids on ventricular arrhythmias (extrasystoles) and on plasma lipids and lipoproteins in a double blind placebo-controlled design. 24 patients were randomized to receive either 5.2 g of omega-3 PUFAs daily (4.3 g of EPA and DHA) or corn oil rich in omega-6 PUFAs, over 16 weeks. There was a 50.8% improvement in the number of ventricular extrasystoles in the omega-3 group, and a 11.5% improvement among controls. Plasma triglycerides also significantly decreased in the omega-3 group.

2) Gustenhoff P et al. Effect of fish oil on heart rate variability in survivors of myocardial infarction: a double blind randomised controlled trial. Br Med J 1996;312:677-8.

The study supports the hypothesis that omega-3 fatty acids may have antiarrhythmic effect in humans, which could in part explain the reduced mortality reported in postmyocardial infarction in patients given these fatty acids.

3) Freeman MP et al. Randomized dose-raging pilot trial of Omega-3 fatty acids for postpartum depression. Acta Psychiatr Scand 2005:1-5.

This study examined the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on postpartum depression, a common medical condition that affects 10-15% of new mothers and can cause serious issues with a woman’s mental health. The study is a randomized dose-ranging pilot trial.

Omega-3 fatty acids were assessed in a double-blind dose-ranging trial. Subjects in the trial were randomized to 0.5 g, 1.4 g, or 2.8 g per day of omega-3 concentrate from fish oil. Among all three doses, patients with postpartum depression improved substantially during the trial. Scores on depression measures decreased by approximately 50%, and differences were statistically significant. The omega-3 fatty acids were well tolerated.

4) Stark KD et al. Effect of a fish oil concentrate on serum lipids in postmenopausal women receiving and not receiving hormone replacement therapy in a placebo-controlled double-blind trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72:389-94.

The study examined the effects of a fish oil derived omega-3 fatty acid concentrate on serum lipid and lipoprotein risk factors for cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women receiving and not receiving HRT, with an emphasis on serum triacylglycerol concentrations and the ratio of triacylglycerol to HDL cholesterol. 36 postmenopausal women were grouped according to exogenous hormone use and were randomly allocated to receive 8 capsules/d of either placebo oil or omega-3 oil providing 2.4 g EPA plus 1.6 g DHA. Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids was associated with 26% lower serum triacylglycerol concentrations, a 28% lower overall ratio of serum triacylglycerol to HDL cholesterol, and markedly greater EPA and DHA concentrations in serum phospholipids. These results show that supplementation with a fish oil derived concentrate can favourably influence selected cardiovascular disease risk factors, particularly by achieving marked reductions in serum triacylglycerol concentrations and triacylglycerol:HDL cholesterol in postmenopausal women receiving and not receiving HRT. This approach could potentially reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 27% in postmenopausal women.

5) Vanhouwelingen AC et al. Essential fatty acid status in neonates after fish oil supplementation during late pregnancy. Br J Nutr 1995;74:723-31.

Healthy pregnant women (23) were supplemented with fish oil capsules (2.7 g) from the 30th week of gestation until delivery. Control group subjects received olive oil capsules or no supplementation. Maternal plasma phospholipids of the fish oil supplemented group contained more omega-3 fatty acids and less omega-6 fatty acids. Moreover, the amounts of the essential fatty acid deficiency markers Mead acid and Osbond acid were significantly lower. The omega-3 fatty acids consumed by the mothers resulted in higher contents of omega-3 fatty acids, and of DHA in particular, in the phospholipids of umbilical plasma and vessel walls. Children born to mothers supplemented with fish oil in the last trimester of pregnancy start with a better DHA status at birth, which may be beneficial to neonatal neurodevelopment.

6) Christensen JH et al. Heart rate variability and omega-3 fatty acids in patients with chronic renal failure – a pilot study. Clin Nephrol 1998;49(2):102-6.

HRV was decreased in chronic renal failure (CRF) patients indicating a cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction. The positive correlation between the omega-3 PUFA content in cell membranes and HRV suggest that the effect of an increased intake of omega-3 PUFAs in CRF patients should be further studied.

7) Espersen GT et al. Decreased interleukin-1 Beta levels in plasma from rheumatoid arthritis patients after dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids. Clin Rheum 1992;11(3):393-5.

The effects of dietary supplementation with omega-e fatty acids (3.6 g fish oil per day) on the level of cytokines and complement activation in plasma from patients with rheumatoid arthritis were examined in this double-blind randomized study. The Interleukin-1 beta concentration in plasma was reduced significantly after 12 weeks of fish oil supplementation. No difference was found in the placebo group. The clinical status of the patients was improved in the fish oil group, but not in the placebo group. The anti-inflammatory effect of omega-3 fatty acids could in part by explained by their ability to decrease cytokine production.

8) Fasching P. et al. Metabolic effects of fish oil supplementation in patients with impaired glucose tolerance. Diabetes 1991;40:583-9.

Fish oil containing 3.8 g EPA and 2.5 g DHA were given to eight obese subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) in addition to their regular diet for 2 weeks. Glucose disposal rate rose after fish oil, the basal hepatic glucose output remained unaffected, whereas fractional glucose clearance tended to increase. Neither the fasting concentrations of glucose and insulin nor glycemia and insulin response during intravenous glucose loading changed after fish oil supplementation. There was a mean decrease in total cholesterol of 15.2%, LDL cholesterol of 20%, apolipoprotein B concentration of 16% and total serum triglycerides of 41%. HDL cholesterol remained unchanged.

9) Schmidt EB et al. Long-term supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids; effect on neutrophil and monocyte chemotaxis. Scand J Clin Lab Invest 1992;52:229-36.

The effect of a daily supplement with 4 g of omega-3 PUFA (fish oil) for 9 months to 24 healthy volunteers on neutrophil and monocyte chemotaxis was studied. Monocyte chemotaxis were reduced after 9 months of supplementation to the same extent as after 6 weeks. Neutrophil-directed migration towards chemoattractants was reduced after 9 months, and this decrease was significantly greater than the decrease obtained after 6 weeks. The spontaneous migration of neutrophils was significantly attenuated after 9 months compared to baseline and to 6 weeks. These findings lend support to the role for omega-3 PUFA in the management of chronic inflammatory and artherosclerotic vascular diseases.

10) Freese R. et al. Small effects of linseed oil or fish oil supplementation on postprandial changes in hemostatic factors. Thromb Res 1997;85(2):147-52

Linseed oil supplementation had no effect on the fasting values, but in the fish oil group several values decreased (aggregation to 0.5 ug/ml collagen, serum triglycerides and cholesterol) or increased (F VII:C, PAI-1 activity, aggregation to ADP2 umol/ml, and plasma glucose). Serum triglycerides decreased by 8.2% in the linseed group and by 26% in the fish oil group.

11) Nielsen GL et al. The effects of dietary supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a randomized double blind trial. Eur J Clin Invest 1992;22:687-91.

Study objective: To determine the effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 PUFA on disease variables in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. 51 Danish patients were randomly allocated 12 weeks of treatment with either 3.6 g of fish oil capsules or capsules with fat composition as the average Danish diet. Results showed significant improvement of morning stiffness and joint tenderness. No significant effect on the four other assessed clinical parameters. No serious side effects.

12) Schmidt EB et al. The effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on lipids, haemostasis, neutrophil and monocyte chemotaxis in insulin-dependant diabetes mellitus. J Int Med 1989;225(Suppl 1)):20106.

Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) is associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). We have studied the effect of short-term dietary supplmentation with omega-3 PUFAs on lipids, haemostasis, neutrophil and moncyte chemotaxis in 10 patients with IDDM. The patients were give 4 g daily of fish oil for 6 weeks. No significant effects on platelets or haemostasis were observed. HDL cholesterol significantly increased, and triglycerides and the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol significanatly decreased. Monocyte chemotizis was unaltered, while neutrophil chemotaxis significnalty increased after fish oil.

13) Varming K et al. The effect of omega-3 fatty acids on neutrophil chemiluminiscence. Scand J Lab Invest 1995;55:47-52

The effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids on the production of free oxygen radicals from activated neutrophils was investigated in healthy subjects, using chemiluminiscence. In the first study, 22 persons were given 4 g fish oil daily for six weeks. There was a median reduction in the chemiluminiscence from neutrophils stimulated with opsonized zymosan of 37%. The median content of EPA in the platelets, used as an indicator for cellular fatty acid profile, increased from 0.70 to 2.80%, and there was a significant negative correlation between the chemiluminiscence signal and the content of EPA in platelets. In a second low-dose study 24 persons were allocated daily supplementation with either 0.65 g of fish oil or with a control for 6 weeks. Compared to the control group there was median reduction of 38 and 44% in chemiluminiscence from neutrophils. These findings lend support for a positive role of omega-3 fatty acids in the management of inflammatory disorders.



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