EP340: Fish Oils and Where We Are


Welcome to my podcast. I am Doctor Warrick Bishop, and I want to help you to live as well as possible for as long as possible. I’m a practising cardiologist, best-selling author, keynote speaker, and the creator of The Healthy Heart Network. I have over 20 years as a specialist cardiologist and a private practice of over 10,000 patients.

This episode discusses omega-3 fish oils, also known as marine triglycerides, and their role in heart health. The speaker explains that not all omega-3 supplements are the same - some are highly purified pharmaceutical-grade products, while over-the-counter versions often contain less EPA and DHA than advertised and can be oxidized. Clinical trials have shown mixed results on the cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 supplements, but studies specifically on high-dose EPA have demonstrated a reduction in major adverse cardiac events. The speaker recommends eating fresh fatty fish as the best way to get beneficial omega-3s, as the oils remain in the body for several days. Overall, the podcast provides insights into the complexities around omega-3 supplementation and heart health.


  • Not all omega-3 fish oil supplements are the same - there are differences in the formulations, purity, and regulation between over-the-counter and prescription versions.
  • Many over-the-counter fish oil supplements do not actually contain the amounts of EPA and DHA they claim, and may have high levels of oxidation.
  • The research on omega-3 supplements for cardiovascular benefits has been mixed, with some trials showing no clear benefit, while others indicate that pure EPA supplements (without DHA) can reduce major adverse cardiovascular events.
  • Trials like REDUCE-IT have shown that high-dose prescription EPA (icosapent ethyl) can provide a 15-20% relative risk reduction in recurrent cardiovascular events.
  • The mechanism of benefit for EPA appears to be related to maintaining normal cholesterol distribution, reducing inflammation, and stabilizing vulnerable plaque.
  • Eating fresh, fatty fish is a better way to get beneficial omega-3s compared to over-the-counter supplements.
  • Prescription EPA is now available but is regulated as a drug, unlike the unregulated over-the-counter supplements.
  • Triglyceride levels may just be a marker of metabolic processes, and lowering them alone may not be the key driver of cardiovascular benefits.
  • The research suggests EPA alone, rather than the combination of EPA and DHA, is the key component responsible for the cardiovascular benefits seen in some trials.
  • More research is still needed to fully understand the nuances and differences between various omega-3 formulations and their impacts on cardiovascular health.

Australia, like the rest of the western world, has a heart problem.

Over 9 million people around the world die from heart disease every year.

Every 10 minutes, someone in Australia suffers a heart attack. And 21 lives are lost daily because of it.

The devastating fact in all of this is… 

Almost every one of those cases could have been prevented. 

This podcast is for anyone who wants to improve their health literacy and gain information to help them make the best decisions about their risk of heart attack, their cholesterol, blood pressure, risk of diabetes, weight loss and general health. Join me on my personal mission journey to prevent Heart Attack on a global scale. If you like this podcast, I would be honoured by a 5-star review and appreciate if you let your friends and family know about this podcast; you may even save the life of someone you love!

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Heart disease is the #1 killer in the Western World. In Australia, someone dies every 28 minutes from heart disease. That’s 51 people a day. In the US, someone has a heart attack every 40 SECONDS! Fortunately, many heart attacks are preventable. However, regular exercise and eating healthy are no guarantee you won’t succumb to this silent killer.

  • 94% of Australians have at least One Risk Factor for heart disease.
  •  59% of Australians have been Touched by heart disease.
  •  Yet only 3% of Australians have had a Full Heart-Health Assessment in the past 12 months.

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