August 04, 2009
Review Finds Omega 3 Fatty Acids Benefit Heart

The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil benefit people who have heart disease.

There is mounting evidence that omega-3 fatty acids from fish or fish oil supplements not only help prevent cardiovascular diseases in healthy individuals, but also reduce the incidence of cardiac events and mortality in patients with existing heart disease. A new study, published in the August 11, 2009, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, extensively reviews data from a broad range of studies in tens of thousands of patients and sets forth suggested daily targets for omega-3 consumption.

"This isn't just hype; we now have tremendous and compelling evidence from very large studies, some dating back 20 and 30 years, that demonstrate the protective benefits of omega-3 fish oil in multiple aspects of preventive cardiology," said Carl Lavie, M.D., F.A.C.C., medical director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention, Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans, LA, and lead author of the article. "The strongest evidence of a cardioprotective effect of omega-3s appears in patients with established cardiovascular disease and following a heart attack with up to a 30 percent reduction in CV-related death."

Dietary intake of fish oil can also decrease the risk of atherosclerosis, arrhythmias, heart attack, sudden cardiac death and even health failure. Dr. Lavie adds that although there is a smaller benefit in reducing heart failure death—9 percent mortality benefit in a major recent randomized controlled trial—this is still very impressive given patients' grave prognosis.

Get at least 500 mg of omega fatty acids per day and double that if you have heart disease.

Based on these findings, and because the body does not produce its own essential fatty acids, the authors recommend that healthy individuals should consume 500 mg daily of omega-3 fish oil containing EPA and DHA, and people with known heart disease or heart failure aim for at least 800 to 1,000 mg daily.

I find it a lot easier to take fish oil pills than to eat fish regularly.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 August 04 10:46 PM  Aging Diet Heart Studies


Comments
Jake said at August 5, 2009 11:38 AM:

Dr William Davis the famed preventative cardiologist recommends 3000 mg a day as a preventative measure against heart disease. And 6000 to 8000 mg a day to reverse artery plaque buildup.

I personally take 4000 mg a day.

John Moore said at August 5, 2009 12:54 PM:

Apparently fish-oil at 1000mg/day is also about as effective as SSRI's (Prozac, etc) for treating depression.

miles said at August 5, 2009 3:01 PM:

Interesting - I stopped taking SSRI (what the heck was the brand name?) after 15 years and started taking 1200mg fish oil pills at the same time. I have the terrible dizziness from the withdrawal, even with the supplement, so apparently Omega-3 doesn't act like an SSRI.

Carl Pham said at August 5, 2009 4:17 PM:

Get married, stay married, and make love every night by the woman of your dreams. Throw away your TV. Each morning go to a job you love and do the best you can at it. Each afternoon give your children a warm hug, look them straight in the eye, ask how their day went -- and listen carefully when they say. Say a friendly hello to your neighbors, even if they haven't returned your power tools when they said they would. Call your mother on her birthday and patiently listen to her grumbles about her arthritis as long as she wants to talk. Wear a shirt with a collar to the grocery store, and when you leave, look the teenagers who rang you up and packed your bags in the eye and say "thank you!" sincerely.

Do all this and I expect you could probably toss the SSRI's in the trash. Maybe the fish oil, too.

Cliff Clayton said at August 5, 2009 6:27 PM:

Or do as Carl Pham says AND take the fish oil like I do.

miriam said at August 5, 2009 8:03 PM:

I've been taking fish oil and my bad cholesterol is way down. I'm giving it to my husband too. But I don't want to take massive amounts because it thins the blood, and I am already a heavy bleeder.

miriams husband said at August 5, 2009 9:50 PM:

she sure has been giving it to me. Carl is right on about the girl of my dreams.

tom scott said at August 6, 2009 6:07 PM:

I've read that high amounts of fish oil thins the blood and that if you're taking an aspirin, even an 81 mg, that you should only proceed with additional fish oil only under a doctor's supervision.
Any truth to this or comments/observations?

Peter said at August 6, 2009 7:04 PM:

I do both and I barely need a bandage after having blood drawn. If your blood clots easily this is not a problem. If you are worried just get tested for your clotting time.

Fish with Omega 3 said at October 30, 2009 5:19 AM:

Omega 3 fatty acids have lot of benefits. They are most essential for a healthy body and especially recommended for persons suffering from heart diseases. The main source of omega 3 fatty acids are fish and flax seeds.

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