Most people have heard about the omega-3 fatty acids from fish, usually referred to as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)…..
Studies on humans have indicated a favourable modifying effect of dietary fish oils on various risk factors for CVD independent of their lowering of blood cholesterol. Supplementing with omega-3 fish oil concentrates has demonstrated potential in reducing both the progression of cardiovascular disease and related mortality.
The beneficial effects of fish oil also include a reduction in sudden cardiac death, a decrease in mild hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, and decreased risk of cardiac arrhythmia. It lowers plasma triglyceride levels, and reduces blood-clotting. Fish oil can also have a therapeutic role in the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia (elevated triglycerides). The effective doses of omega-3 fatty acids in these studies ranged from 3 to 5 g/day.
Although the level of DHA and EPA intake can be attained through fish consumption, the requisite amount of fish intake may be difficult to achieve and sustain over a long period of time. For those who do not eat fish, have limited access to a variety of fish, or have concerns about the contamination in fish, a fish oil supplement may be considered. If it is a double-strength fish oil, then up to two 1000mg fish oil capsules per day are necessary to obtain the therapeutic effect.
- Marguerite M. Engler, PhD, FAHA; Mary B. Engler, PhD, FAHA. (2006) Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Role in Cardiovascular Health and Disease. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing Vol. 21, No. 1, pp 17-24.
- Jehangir N Din, David E Newby, Andrew D Flapan. (2004) Omega 3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease—fishing for a natural treatment. BMJ VOLUME 328.