Researchers with the Fatty Acid Research Institute (FARI) and collaborators have published the first direct evidence that having high levels of this nutrient in your blood may reduce risk of death from COVID-19 infection. The findings were published in the PLEFA journal.
Eat More Fish
There are several papers in the medical literature hypothesizing that omega-3 fatty acids should have beneficial effects in patients with COVID-19 infection, but up until now, there have been no published peer-reviewed studies supporting that hypothesis.
This study examined 100 Covid-infected patients that were admitted to the hospital. After analyzing their blood samples, researchers found that patients with high levels of omega-3 in their blood had a reduced risk of dying from COVID.
In fact, they were 75 percent less likely to die than patients with lower circulating omega-3 levels. Overall, patients with lower omega-3 levels in their bloodstream were four times likelier to die than those with higher omega-3 levels.
Patients with adequate levels of omega-3 in their blood were 75% less likely to die than those who had inadequate amounts. Overall, patients with lower omega-3 levels in their bloodstream were four times likelier to die than those with higher omega-3 levels.
The study “strongly suggests that these nutritionally available marine fatty acids may help reduce risk for adverse outcomes in COVID-19 patients,” said Arash Asher, MD, the lead author on this study. “Larger studies are clearly needed to confirm these preliminary findings,” he added.
Omega-3 expert James H. O’Keefe, Jr., MD, who was not involved with the study had this to say: “An excessive inflammatory response, referred to as a ‘cytokine storm,’ is a fundamental mediator of severe COVID-19 illness. Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) have potent anti-inflammatory activities, and this pilot study provides suggestive evidence that these fatty acids may dampen COVID-19’s cytokine storm.”
The FARI research team is currently seeking funding to expand upon these preliminary observations. Individuals and organizations that want to support this research are encouraged to visit FARI’s donations page.