Questions about the cardiovascular benefits of omega-3s and the high-dose eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) product Icosapent Ethyl (Vascepa) have resurfaced with the STRENGTH study recently presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) virtual conference.
The STRENGTH study showed no benefit for the cardiovascular event rates of a high-dose combination of EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in a new branded product (Epanova).
This is in contrast to the very positive results of last year’s REDUCE-IT study, which showed a relative risk reduction of 25% for serious adverse cardiovascular events with the high-dose, purified EPA product icosapent ethyl.
Suggested explanations for the discrepancies include the fact that different placebos were used in the two studies, with some suggesting that mineral oil is an active placebo. The REDUCE-IT investigators deny this; Their explanation is that DHA can counteract some of the EPA’s benefits.
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