The Fish Oil Debate

Information provided by Dr. Wayne Leimbach, medical director at Oklahoma Heart Institute.


There always seems to be questions surrounding vitamins. Are they really beneficial to take and if so, which ones and at what dosage? Recently, fish oil has been the topic of conversation and in fact, the REDUCE-IT trial that Oklahoma Heart Institute was involved in just uncovered some interesting findings.

The REDUCE-IT trial randomized 8,179 cardiovascular (CV) risk patients with known CV disease or high risk patients with diabetes and other CV risk factors who were already on statin therapy to lower their cholesterol, however, still had triglyceride levels of 135 to 499 mg/dl. The patients were randomly put into two groups and followed for 4.9 years. Group one received 2 grams of pharmaceutical grade purified EPA fish oil called Vascepa twice a day and group two was given a placebo.

The study found that Vascepa reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events (MACE) by 25%. The incidence of fatal or non-fatal heart attacks was reduced by 31% and fatal or non-fatal strokes was reduced by 28%. The risk of cardiovascular death was reduced by 20% as well.

What’s the take-away you ask? In a nut shell, the benefit was seen in Vascepa in patients with known cardiovascular disease or higher risk patients with diabetes and other risk factors.