Omega-3 supplementation could save EU €12.9bn a year in heart disease spending

By Annie Harrison-Dunn contact

- Last updated on GMT

'The science alone is not sufficient. You have to link it up from an economic perspective and really show policy makers there are substantial gains to be made,' says trade group. © iStock.com / stocksnapper
'The science alone is not sufficient. You have to link it up from an economic perspective and really show policy makers there are substantial gains to be made,' says trade group. © iStock.com / stocksnapper

Related tags: Omega-3 fatty acid, Eu

If all over 55s in Europe took 1 g of omega-3 EPA-DHA every day the EU could collectively save about €12.9bn in cardiovascular disease health care spending every year, a report commissioned by Food Supplements Europe (FSE) has found.

About 24% of this older EU population are expected to experience a ‘hospital event’ due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) over the next five years – with a total of 38.4 million such events forecast.  

Set to cost as much as €1.328 trillion collectively over this five-year period, this represents a huge strain on EU health budgets.

Published today (10 May), the report commissioned by the trade group FSE and conducted by market research firm Frost & Sullivan argued policies on omega-3 supplementation could go a long way in alleviating this financial burden.  

Using a review of scientific literature of omega-3 benefits for this population, they found CVD hospital events in Europe could be reduced by 4.9% if all over 55s

heart disease eu

were given a daily 1 g dose of omega-3 EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

This 4.9% would equate to 1.5m fewer hospital events across the EU between 2016 and 2020 and total five-year savings of €64.5bn or €12.9bn per year on avoided health care.

Show me the money

FSE director of regulatory and scientific affairs Patrick Coppens told NutraIngredients the figures would be hard for EU policy makers to ignore.

cvd spending
Germany stands to make the greatest savings. 

“That realisation [that health care savings can be made through supplementation] I think is new. And it's that realisation that we want to bring over with this study,” ​he said. 

“This is economic data you can hardly ignore. It is something we think should be realised by EU policy makers.” 

The economic analysis was the first of its kind for this issue in Europe and represented a tide change in the way arguments for supplementation are presented, he said.  

“I think in order to support the role of nutritional components and supplementation, there is a lot of literature and science around but the science alone is not sufficient.

“So you have to link it up from an economic perspective and really show policy makers there are substantial gains to be made.”​ 

'Concrete' backing

Omega-3 heart benefits are well documented, with EPA and DHA already holding several approved EU health claims for the maintenance of normal blood triglyceride levels, blood pressure and function of the heart for doses higher than the daily 1 g outlined in the report.   

patrick coppens-FSE
Patrick Coppens presents the findings at a Vitafoods press conference today

Indeed about 20% of Europeans over the age of 55 already take omega-3, the report said.

Omega-3 was selected for the FSE’s first economic analysis because of the "concrete"​ scientific backing, with 18 randomised controlled trials included in the analysis.

Yet other nutrients may be on the cards for future economic reports, Coppens said. 

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Lonza Inc.

Lonza Inc.

Lonza - Capsugel | 02-Dec-2019 | Product Brochure

Making up 40% of the global population, Aspirationals are defined by their love to shop, desire to consume responsibly and belief that brands should have...

Related suppliers

3 comments

Fantastic report with a major mistake

Posted by Eric Freeman,

Hi. The study/report looks fantastic and the conclusion certainly seems well founded though the last line, "Frost & Sullivan argued policies on omega-3 supplementation could go a long way in elevating this financial burden" is completely wrong. The word should be "alleviating" not "elevating!" This mistake is the complete opposite of what the study suggests!!!

Report abuse

Re: copy of report

Posted by Richard Clarke,

Michael
Can you contact me: richard@ingredientcommunications.com

Report abuse

Copy of Report

Posted by Michael Arts,

Is it possible to get a copy of this report?

Report abuse

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more

Webinars