are omega 3 supplements good for your heart

A recent study determined the health benefits of omega 3 supplements in lowering triglyceride levels in the blood.

Hypertriglyceridemia, a condition in which triglyceride levels are elevated, is a common disorder, often caused by uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, obesity, and prolonged sitting habits. Triglycerides are fats that circulate in the blood. It has long been known that elevated levels of triglycerides (above 200 mg/dL) can lead to the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

In 2002, American Heart Association recommended omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FAs) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for reducing triglycerides in patients with elevated triglycerides, and prescriptions containing EPA+DHA and EPA alone are approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

In a new paper published in Circulation, a research team led by the American Heart Association investigated the health benefits of omega 3 supplements in lowering blood triglycerides as well as reducing the overall risk of heart and blood vessel problems. The researchers reviewed 17 randomized, controlled clinical trials on high triglyceride levels in order to find out the lipid and lipoprotein effects resulting from different doses of omega 3 supplements.

The research team found that the prescription omega 3 supplements with four grams daily are effective in reducing triglyceride levels up to 30%, regardless of whether people are on traditional statin therapies. This study clearly showed that omega 3 supplements could offer an effective and safe option for reducing triglycerides as monotherapy or as an adjunct to other lipid-lowering agents.

Written by Man-tik Choy, Ph.D

Reference: Skulas-Ray A.C. et al. Omega-3 Fatty Acids for the Management of Hypertriglyceridemia: A Science Advisory From the American Heart Association. Circulation, 2019;140:00–00. DOI: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000709.

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