Omega-3 fatty acids
benefit the heart of healthy people, and those who are at high risk of or who have cardiovascular disease. It is recommended that people who have cardiovascular disease, and those who don’t eat fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times a week supplement with omega-3.
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).
It’s also recommend that you eat tofu and other forms of soybeans, canola, walnut and flaxseed, and their oils. These contain alpha-linolenic acid (LNA), which can transition into omega-3 fatty acid in the body.
Randomized clinical trials have shown that omega-3 fatty acid supplements
can reduce cardiovascular events. 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.
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 Omega-3 supplement.
Omega-3 products also could help people with high triglycerides, which need even larger doses. The availability of high-quality omega-3 fatty acid supplements, free of contaminants, is an important prerequisite to their use.