Higher Omega-3 Index Levels Associated with Lower Risk for Death from COVID-19
Although there are many good reasons to expect omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) to be beneficial in COVID-19, most obviously the anti-inflammatory nature of these fish oil fatty acids, there have been no actual data to show it. But now there are!
Our group just published a pilot study that included 100 patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 for whom admission blood samples had been stored. The study was done at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in collaboration with the Fatty Acid Research Institute in SiouxFalls, SD.
We compared the Omega-3 Index (O3I, a measure of red blood cell membrane EPA+DHA levels analyzed at OmegaQuant Analytics in Sioux Falls) in the 14 patients who died to that of the 86 who survived. We found that the group of patients with the highest O3I values (in this case, >5.7% which included 25 patients) were 75% less likely to die compared with the 75 patients below 5.7%.
Although not quite meeting the standard statistical test for significance (p<0.05; our p-value was 0.07), these pilot data at least strongly suggest that having a higher O3I may be protective against the worst of COVID-19’s outcomes – death. But larger studies are needed and are currently being planned.
The report was published in the journal “Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids” onJanuary 20, 2021.