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Omega 3 supplements could save €13bn a year in EU healthcare costs, study finds

26 May 2016  •  Author(s): Victoria White, Digital Content Producer

More widespread regular consumption of Omega 3 supplements could save healthcare providers in the EU a total of €12.9 billion a year, according to an independent study commissioned by Food Supplements Europe.

omega 3

Using existing published literature and official data, researchers at Frost & Sullivan explored the financial benefits of the consumption of Omega 3 EPA+DHA food supplements among people aged 55 and over. This demographic group is considered to be at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Overall it is forecast that in the EU, 24% of people aged 55 and over (i.e. 38.4 million people) are in danger of experiencing a CVD-attributed hospital event between 2016 and 2020. This is expected to cost as much as €1.328 trillion over this five-year period – equivalent to €34,637 per event.

However, the new analysis indicates that more widespread daily consumption of 1,000mg of Omega 3 EPA+DHA fish oil among individuals aged 55-plus would result in more than 1.5 million fewer CVD-attributed hospital events across the EU between now and 2020, generating total cost savings of €64.5bn – or €12.9bn per annum.

A “major positive impact” on wellbeing

Commenting on the study results, Food Supplements Europe Chair Ingrid Atteryd said: “This healthcare cost savings study shows very clearly that billions of euros could be saved by encouraging people aged 55-plus to use Omega 3 food supplements regularly to reduce their risk of developing CVD. Communicating this message through official advice at both EU and national level, as well as via healthcare professionals and the media, could have a major positive impact on people’s wellbeing, while also significantly cutting the cost burden on healthcare systems and providers.”

The study found that the annual financial savings achievable through more widespread regular use of Omega 3 supplements varied between EU member states. The biggest economic benefits would be seen in Germany, which could avoid costs of €3.86bn a year, according to the research findings.

Ms Atteryd said the study “carries a powerful and compelling message which shows that Omega 3 food supplements have the potential to be a real force for good.”

She concluded: “Our chief aim is to create a more favourable regulatory and commercial environment for food supplements in the EU, through demonstrating the highly positive role they can play in promoting good health and reducing healthcare costs. This new report is a further step on that journey – and a very important one.”

Food Supplements Europe has produced an infographic with more information from the study:

omega 3


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