For the past several years, health experts have theorized that supplementation with omega–3 fatty acids or basal insulin would benefit the cardiovascular system. But a large new study has found that these supplements don't offer any cardiovascular benefits in patients with diabetes or those who are at risk for diabetes.


Results of the ORIGIN (Outcome Reduction with Initial Glargine Intervention) study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented June 11 at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association.  


For the study, researchers evaluated more than 12,500 patients who either had diabetes or were at risk for developing diabetes (demonstrated by impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance tests.) Patients were treated either with insulin glargine or standard care and either omega-3 fatty acids or placebo. After roughly six years of treatments, researchers found no significant differences in the patients' cardiovascular health.


The aim of the ORIGIN study was to evaluate a medication called Lantus® (insulin glargine) compared to standard care in patients with diabetes or pre-diabetes who are at high cardiovascular risk. The study spanned 40 countries worldwide, lasted more than six years, and included more than 12,500 patients, making it the longest and largest randomized clinical trial to formally research the effects of insulin on cardiovascular health.


“We now know more about insulin glargine than about any other glucose-lowering drug with respect to future health outcomes,” said Dr. Hertzel Gerstein, principal investigator of the ORIGIN trial in a press release. 


Basal insulin, omega-3s don't help diabetics, new study finds
Researchers present results of the ORIGIN study evaluating 12,500 patients in 40 countries.