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Omega-3 & the Heart

American Heart Association
Recommendation on Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids benefit the heart of healthy people, and those at high risk of — or who have — cardiovascular disease.

We recommend eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times a week. Fish is a good source of protein and doesn’t have the high saturated fat that fatty meat products do. Fatty fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are high in two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

To learn about omega-3 levels for different types of fish — as well as mercury levels, which can be a concern — see our Encyclopedia entry on Fish, Levels of Mercury and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

We also recommend eating tofu and other forms of soybeans, canola, walnut and flaxseed, and their oils. These contain alpha-linolenic acid (LNA), which can become omega-3 fatty acid in the body. The extent of this modification is modest and controversial, however. More studies are needed to show a cause-and-effect relationship between alpha-linolenic acid and heart disease.

The table below is a good guide to use for consuming omega-3 fatty acids.

Summary of Recommendations for Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake

Population Recommendation

Patients without documented coronary heart disease (CHD)

Eat a variety of (preferably fatty) fish at least twice a week.

Include oils and foods rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (flaxseed, canola and soybean oils; flaxseed and walnuts).

 
Patients with documented CHD

Consume about 1 g of EPA+DHA per day (i.e.1000mg of Omega 3), preferably from fatty fish.

EPA+DHA supplements could be considered in consultation with the physician.

*Dosage Guide for Omax3
EPA/DHA Omega 3 Supplement - Please consult your Doctor before taking supplements:

Number of Omax3 Caps Dose of Omega 3
1 750mg
2 1500mg
3 2250mg
4 3000mg
5 3750mg
6 4500mg


Patients who need to lower triglycerides 2 to 4 grams of EPA+DHA per day (i.e. 2000mg to 4000mg of Omega 3) provided as capsules under a physician’s care.

*Dosage Guide for Omax3
EPA/DHA Omega 3 Supplement - Please consult your Doctor before taking supplements:

Number of Omax3 Caps Dose of Omega 3
1 750mg
2 1500mg
3 2250mg
4 3000mg
5 3750mg
6 4500mg

Patients taking more than 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids from supplements should do so only under a physician’s care. High intakes could cause excessive bleeding in some people.

Background

In 1996 the American Heart Association released its Science Advisory, “Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Lipids and Coronary Heart Disease.” Since then important new findings have been reported about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular disease. These include evidence from randomized, controlled clinical trials. New information has emerged about how omega-3 fatty acids affect heart function (including antiarrhythmic effects), hemodynamics (cardiac mechanics) and arterial endothelial function. These findings are outlined in our November 2002 Scientific Statement, “Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease.”

The ways that omega-3 fatty acids reduce CVD risk are still being studied. However, research has shown that they

  • decrease risk of arrhythmias, which can lead to sudden cardiac death
  • decrease triglyceride levels
    decrease growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque
  • lower blood pressure (slightly)

What do epidemiological and observational studies show?

Epidemiologic and clinical trials have shown that omega-3 fatty acids reduce CVD incidence. Large-scale epidemiologic studies suggest that people at risk for coronary heart disease benefit from consuming omega-3 fatty acids from plants and marine sources.

The ideal amount to take isn’t clear. Evidence from prospective secondary prevention studies suggests that taking EPA+DHA ranging from 0.5 to 1.8 grams per day (either as fatty fish or supplements) significantly reduces deaths from heart disease and all causes. For alpha-linolenic acid, a total intake of 1.5–3 grams per day seems beneficial.

These data support the 2000 AHA Dietary Guidelines recommendation to include at least two servings of fish (particularly fatty fish) per week.

Randomized clinical trials have shown that omega-3 fatty acid supplements can reduce cardiovascular events (death, non-fatal heart attacks, non-fatal strokes). They can also slow the progression of atherosclerosis in coronary patients. However, more studies are needed to confirm and further define the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplements for preventing a first or subsequent cardiovascular event. For example, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized clinical trials are needed to document the safety and efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplements in high-risk patients (those with type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension and smokers) and coronary patients on drug therapy. Mechanistic studies on their apparent effects on sudden death also are needed.

Increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake through foods is preferable. However, coronary artery disease patients may not be able to get enough omega-3 by diet alone. These people may want to talk to their doctor about taking a supplement. Supplements also could help people with high triglycerides, who need even larger doses. The availability of high-quality omega-3 fatty acid supplements, free of contaminants, is an important prerequisite to their use.

Detailed Research

AHA Scientific Statement: Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease, #71-0241 Circulation. 2002;106: 2747-2757

AHA Scientific Statement: AHA Dietary Guidelines: Revision 2000, #71‑0193 Circulation. 2000;102:2284-2299; Stroke. 2000;31:2751-2766

(Source: http://www.americanheart.org/)

* Note added by 1st Vitality

Omega 3 EPA & DHA is the most bio-available form of Omega 3 you can get, the richest natural form of this type of Omega 3 is found in fish, particularly oily fish such as herring. The quality, concentration & purity of fish oil varies enormously, at 1st Vitality we specialise in offering the best quality omega 3 products you can get.

Our Purest Brand Omax3 @ 91% Omega 3

Omax3™ is The Ultra-Pure Omega-3 Supplement™, specially developed by physicians and scientists from the Yale University School of Medicine to provide you with an ultra-pure and optimally balanced Omega-3 supplement for your health.

Omax3 matches the dosage demands suggested by the American Heart Association guildlines on Omega 3 intake

One 825mg capsule contains a minimum of 750mg of pure Omega 3

  • 1 box contains 60 soft gel capsules
  • Pharmaceutical grade quality, no Vitamin A or D
  • Suggested use for 10 years & upwards

 

Type of Capsule: Gelatin
Serving Size 1- 2 per day
A 1 capsule serving provides 562mg of EPA
Number of servings per bottle: 60 @ 1 per day or 30 @ 2 per day
Content per mg Capsule:  

EPA Omega 3 content:

562mg

DHA Omega 3 content:

137mg
Total Omega 3 per capsule: 750mg
Total Omega 3 per 2 capsules: 1500mg

Have your Omax3 delivered automatically every month or every other month and save £s -
60 capsules only £19.99 including delivery when you use the "First Vitality Omega Plan"
Download our 'Omega Plan' Now?
To Order, please contact us for "The Omega Plan" .

Also of Interest

Carnosine

Carnosine
is an anti-ageing super antioxidant which fights age-related changes in the skin, brain, heart, muscles and other tissues. Carnosine is scientifically well documented as a nontoxic natural nutritional supplement.

The healthy heart muscle (myocardium) contains naturally some carnosine, but carnosine may also increase the strength and endurance of the heart muscle.

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