Omega-3s May Lower Risk of Fatal Heart Attack by 25 Percent

Omega-3 supplementsBEACON TRANSCRIPTAccording to a recent study, Omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood and plants may lower risk of dying from heart attack by as much as 25 percent. Researchers found no link between the healthy fatty acids and decreased risk of non-fatal heart disease.

For their researchers, scientists sifted through 19 studies which had involved more than 45,000 participants from 16 different countries. Of the study participants, about, 8,000 were affected by at least one heart attack event later in life, while more than 2,700 of these cases resulted in death.

Researchers found a statistically significant link between omega-3 consumption and lower risk of developing a fatal heart attack. Participants who had the highest levels of the fatty acid in their system were 25 percent less likely to die of a heart attack. However, researchers found no relationship between Omega-3s and risk of non-fatal heart attack.

The findings were published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Lead author of the research Dr. Liana C. Del Gobbo of Stanford University School of Medicine noted that the latest analysis is in line with past studies that had failed to publicize their findings on the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids for the human heart health.

Del Gobbo added that the newly found link was consistent even after the research team adjusted the study results for other factors that may influence study outcomes including age, sex, race, history of heart disease, the risk of diabetes, cholesterol-lowering drug and aspirin use.

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, the co-author of the research and senior researcher at Tufts University in Boston, said that the new study confirms that fish supplementation and omega-3-rich food consumption have unexpected cardiovascular effects.

Omega-3s are usually found in fatty fish such as herring, tuna, salmon, anchovies, trout, and canned sardines. Yet, the highest levels of Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in mackerel with 3.5 grams of Omega 3 per 3.5 ounces of fish, followed by wild trout with 2.0 grams and herring with 1.7 grams.

Fish is also rich in vitamin D, selenium, and other nutrients. You can get a type of Omega 3 called the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from nuts, especially walnuts, and canola and flaxseed oils.

Mozaffarian explained that the new study was based on Omega-3 blood levels not self-reports as some previous research had been. However, the researcher added that more research is in progress.

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