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Chemo-Induced Heart Failure- Omega-3 fatty acids

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“High plasma levels of the kinds of fatty acids found in fish oil were associated with a lower long-term risk for new heart failure (HF), whether with reduced or preserved ejection fraction…”

I fall into the “preserved ejection fraction” category. I credit nutrition and supplementation such as omega-3 fatty acids for managing my chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy aka heart failure.

I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in early 1994. I underwent induction therapy and an autologous stem cell transplant in 1995.

I developed chronic atrial fibrillation (Afib) in late 2010. I was also diagnosed with chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy.

Think about that for a minute. The chemotherapy regimens that were supposed to heal my cancer, or at least buy me years of remission from my cancer, saddled me with short, long-term and late stage side effects.

At this point, I am more likely to die of chemo-induced heart failure or a treatment-related secondary cancer than I am of my original cancer, multiple myeloma.

My point in all that is that I am reluctant to rely on conventional medications to treat my heart failure. I tried beta-blockers years ago and felt awful.

So it is evidence-based heart healthy nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle therapies. Omega-3 fatty acids are at the top of my heart therapy list. I also take CoQ10, and I exercise daily.

I was happy to see my brand of omega-3 as the third highest rated fish oils, linked below. Many on the top 10 list below are excellent brands of omega-3 fatty acids.

My experience with cardiology since my Afib in 2010 is that it is all about medications such as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, etc. and little if any discussion about exercise, omega-3 fatty acids, nutrition, etc.

To Learn More About chemotherapy-induced heart damage as well as non- conventional therapies read the posts below.

Since 2010 my heart health has improved and I don’t take any of the medications pushed by my cardiologist. I rely on supplements such as fish oil.

If you have any questions about heart health and non-toxic, non-conventional therapies, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you.

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Scales Tip Toward ‘Fish Oil’ PUFA Intake for Heart Failure Prevention

“High plasma levels of the kinds of fatty acids found in fish oil were associated with a lower long-term risk for new heart failure (HF), whether with reduced or preserved ejection fraction (HFrEF or HFpEF), in a community-based cohort of more than 6000 people.

The greater the plasma levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a prevalent n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA, also called omega-3 PUFA), the lower the risk for both forms of HF during a median follow-up of 13 years.

Similar independent observations were made for plasma levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and of EPA and DHA combined, suggesting that increased levels of n-3 PUFA in general may confer cardiovascular (CV) benefits, observe the study’s authors, led by Robert C. Block, MD, MPH, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, New York.

The findings from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), publishedJuly 10 in JACC: Heart Failure, add to a literature of abundant but diverse observations on the CV effects of elevated levels of n-3 PUFA, whether achieved by diet or fish oil–based supplements or prescriptions…

“This study clearly demonstrated a significant independent inverse correlation between circulating levels of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid, and the occurrence of HF over a long median follow-up period of 13 years,” he writes…

The current analysis classified 65,632 high-risk MESA participants according to their plasma percent-EPA levels…

There were 292 HF events — 128 involving HFrEF, 110 in HFpEF, and 54 in people whose ejection fractions were unknown — during a median of 13 months. The mean percent-EPA level was 0.76% for participants who did not develop HF, vs 0.69% for participants who did develop HF (P = .005)…

“Clinical trials using 1 g/day omega-3 fatty acids,” such as GISSI-HF, “seem to reduce HF risk by about 10%,” said Shearer. But this dose would likely only increase the average percent-EPA from 0.7% to the marginally sufficient range, between 1% and 1.5%…

Omega-3 fatty acids for CV risk reduction: The one that did not get away

“Several lines of epidemiological, genetic and biological data have implicated elevated triglyceride levels as an independent association with CVD risk. Historically, therapies targeting triglyceride reduction, such as niacin, fibrates, and omega-3 fatty acids — whose active ingredients consist of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) — have failed to demonstrate a consistent CV benefit..

In an era plagued by devastating CVD, omega-3 fatty acids in the form of purified EPA has the potential to revolutionize how we approach CVD risk reduction and should be used as first-line add-on therapy in high-risk patients with hypertriglyceridemia and well-controlled LDL on maximal statin therapy…

The 10 Best Fish Oil Supplements

“For those who don’t regularly consume fish, taking a fish oil supplement can be a quick and convenient way to increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

However, there are several factors to consider when finding the right fish oil supplement for you, such as the use of high quality ingredients and sustainably caught fish, third-party testing and certification, and EPA/DHA content…

There are several factors to consider when selecting a fish oil.

First, it’s important to check the ingredient list carefully and steer clear of supplements containing fillers or artificial ingredients.

Additionally, look for products that have undergone third-party testing and are certified by independent organizations like IFOS, USP, NSF International, or TGA.

Be sure to pay close attention to the dosage, including the amount of EPA and DHA. Some products may also contain ALA, which is a form of omega-3 fatty acids in plants that’s converted to EPA and DHA in small amounts (2Trusted Source).

Most health organizations recommend taking 250–500 mg of combined EPA and DHA per day, with slight variations depending on your age and health status (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).

Pricing guide

  1. $ = under $0.25 per serving
  2. $$ = $0.25–$0.50 per serving
  3. $$$ = over $0.50 per serving
  1. Nature Made Fish Oil 1,200 mg Plus Vitamin D 1,000 IU                                      Price: $
  2. Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega                                                                                   Price: $$$
  3. Life Extension Super Omega-3 EPA/DHA-Sesame Lignans & Olive Extract  Price: $$

LE Super Omega-3 also features antioxidant-rich olive extract and sesame lignans, which are compounds that can help protect against the degradation of fats.

  1. Barlean’s Ideal Omega3 Softgels                                                                                     Price: $$$
  2. Thorne Omega-3 w/CoQ10                                                                                                  Price: $$$
  3. Carlson Labs The Very Finest Fish Oil                                                                          Price: $$
  4. Innovix Labs Triple Strength Omega-3                                                                            Price: $
  5. Nature Made Fish Oil Gummies                                                                                          Price: $$
  6. Viva Naturals Omega-3 Fish Oil                                                                                          Price: $$
  7. Nordic Naturals Arctic Cod Liver Oil                                                                        Price: $$$

Leave a Comment:

Geraldine Randolph says a couple of years ago

Which fish oil would you recommend and Q 10 supplement is the best

    David Emerson says a couple of years ago

    Hi Geraldine-

    I take Life Extension Foundation’s formula of fish oil- Super Omega-3 Plus EPA/DHA Fish Oil, Sesame Lignans, Olive Extract, Krill & Astaxanthin

    I take LEF’s CoQ10 formula- Super Ubiquinol CoQ10 with Enhanced Mitochondrial Support™

    David Emerson

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