Omega-3s May Protect Against Heart Failure

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart becomes unable to pump blood throughout the body and is most commonly the result of coronary heart disease (narrowing of the arteries leading to the heart), high blood pressure, or diabetes. Heart failure is a common condition, affecting over 5.8 million people in the United States.

The heart-health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish have been evaluated in relation to heart failure (among many other heart-related conditions). In fact, a number of studies have been done and a recent meta-analysis published in the journal Clinical Nutrition evaluated the results of seven studies on over 176,000 participants, of which over 5,400 developed heart failure.

The researchers found that those people with the highest intakes of fish had a 15 percent reduced rate of heart failure compared to those who ate the least. Intake of EPA and DHA specifically—the two omega-3 fatty acids to which most heart-health benefits are attributed—was also analyzed. For every 125 mg per day increase in EPA and DHA, the risk of heart failure was decreased by 3 percent.

In a particularly well-publicized previous study, the GISSI Heart Failure Study, patients with chronic heart failure given 1 gram of omega-3 fish oil daily experienced a small reduction in death rate. This meta-analysis adds to the results of the GISSI heart Failure study.

Are you taking fish oil every day to support your heart health? I can’t imagine why not.

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