Omega-3 fatty acids benefit the hearts of healthy people as well as those who have cardiovascular disease.
In 2002, the American Heart Association (AHA) released a statement on the effects of Omega-3 fatty acids on heart function (including antiarrhythmic effects), hemodynamics (cardiac mechanics) and arterial endothelial function.
Large-scale epidemiologic studies suggest that people at risk for coronary heart disease benefit from consuming Omega-3 fatty acids. Particularly those from fatty fish like trout, mackerel, tuna and salmon help:
- Decrease risk of arrhythmias, which can lead to sudden cardiac death
- Decrease triglyceride levels
- Decrease growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque
- Lower blood pressure (slightly)
What Your Patients Need to Know…
All Fish Oil Supplements are NOT the Same
According to the American Heart Association:
“Taking EPA+DHA ranging from 0.5 to 1.8 grams per day (either as fatty fish or supplements) significantly reduces deaths from heart disease and all causes.”
“Clinical trials have shown that Omega-3 fatty acid supplements can reduce cardiovascular events (death, non-fatal heart attacks, non-fatal strokes).”
“Coronary artery disease patients may not be able to get enough Omega-3 by diet alone. These people may want to talk to their doctor about taking a supplement.”
“Supplements also could help people with high triglycerides, who need even larger doses.”
Besides AHA, regulatory bodies FDA and USDA have also made official recommendations for daily Omega-3 consumption.
According to American College of Cardiology Foundation’s Expert Consensus Document:
“Omega-3 fatty acids reduce cardiovascular events, sudden death, and overall mortality.”
“Omega-3 fatty acids may also affect CHD outcomes by decreasing triglyceride levels, ventricular arrhythmias, decreasing fibrinogen levels and platelet counts, modestly reducing blood pressures, and decreasing cell proliferation.”
“Omega-3 fatty acids have been tested in several secondary prevention trials. The GISSI-Prevenzione study is the largest of the controlled trials investigating omega-3 fatty acid supplements (1 g per day) and CHD risk. In this trial, total mortality was reduced by 20% and sudden death by 45%”
Source: Vogel, JH. et al. J. Am. Coll CardioL. 2005 July 5; 46(1): 184 – 221.