Can Omega-3s help with Covid-19?
Potentially. Some of the latest research appears to think so. Omega-3 has been seen in some cases to help reduce respiratory tract infections among the elder by up to 10%.
Taking Omega-3s on a regular basis have been seen to help reduce more infections by protecting their immune system. This includes Covid-19.
Omega-3 which is typically found in fish oil supplements (but is also available in plant-based options such as algal oil) has been seen to help reduce the risk of catching the Covid-19 infection in a study of over 2000 elderly participants.
The study involved 2157 men and women over the age of 70, and these participants were found to be 11% less likely to suffer from infections who were taking omega-3.
The study itself took place during 2012 to 2014, and although this isn’t nearly as recent as the Covid-19 pandemic, the leader of the study (Professor Heike Bischoff-Ferrari, Zurich University, Switzerland) has stated in a recent interview: “We believe there is an effect on infections – such as Covid-19.”
It’s also been noted in this study that those taking omega-3 experienced a reducing in urinary tract infections by 62% and upper respiratory infections by 10%.
The subjects in this study were taking up to 3 pills of omega-3 a day alongside vitamin D and an exercise program.
Current Omega-3 and Covid-19 Research
Here is a current list of the companies we know about who are researching omega-3s and Covid 19 at the time of writing this in November 2020:
KD Pharma (Germany)
KD Pharma has started a clinical trial of their drug EPAspire with COVID positive patients who are in the early stages of the condition.
This clinical trial has been given the go ahead from the UK’s MHRA (Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency), and KD Pharma are also approaching countries in Europe with their trial, as well as the FDA to get it tested in the US.
It is thought that this trial will be in motion very soon.
The trial itself will involve giving patients the omega 3 drug EPAspire within their first day of hospitalization and they will have for a month with a two week follow up.
The thought is that EPAspire could help reduce severity and mortality from the illness by how EPAspire may work with markers of inflammation.
Kerecis & National Hospital of Iceland (Iceland)
In Iceland, Kerecis in partnership with the National Hospital of Iceland are performing randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical studies to find out how effective Kerecis Omega3 Viruxide is on patients with Covid-19.
The reason this study is taking place, is because Italian doctors have claimed there is benefit for using this spray on Covid-19 patients. However, there has been no official study to document this.
The spray (Kerecis Omega3 Viruxide) has been sprayed by Italian doctors into the oral and nasal cavities of Italian patients who exhibit early symptoms of Covid-19. They believe it can help to reduce the progression of the infection.
Before Covid-19 the spray was used in Italy in off-label forms to help protect wounds from infections. Professor Giuseppe Nochese, MD has claimed to have used the spray on as many as 70 patients and has seen some very promising results.
It is thought the fatty acids in the Omega 3 can help reduce the viral load and reduce the overall symptoms from the infection. Iceland is still undergoing tests to prove the clinical effectiveness of Kerecis Omega3 Viruxide in Covid-19 patients.
Bottom Line: Covid-19 and Omega 3 – What We Know
Is supplementing Omega-3s a cure for Covid-19? Absolutely not.
Can supplementing omega-3 help towards fighting Covid-19? Potentially.
At present, there appears to be 2 main clinical trials ongoing relating to Omega-3s and Covid-19: one by KD Pharma, and one by the National Hospital of Iceland.
KD Pharma is using a drug called EPAspire on Covid-19 patients who are in the early stages of the condition. They have been given the go ahead in the UK to start tests, and are also approaching Europe and the FDA to test in the US as well.
The other drug is Kerecis Omega3 Viruxide from Kerecis with the National Hospital of Iceland. They are testing their drug in trials for its overall effectiveness after Italian doctors have had success administering it in their patients to reduce the symptoms. However this is now to be put to the actual test to see if this works for real.
It’s a very exciting time and we’re curious to see how the relationship between Omega and Covid-19 appears after these trials.
Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Vellas B, Rizzoli R, et al. Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation, Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation, or a Strength-Training Exercise Program on Clinical Outcomes in Older Adults: The DO-HEALTH Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2020;324(18):1855–1868. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.16909