MUNICH, GERMANY. There is considerable evidence that fish oil supplements may help prevent or slow down atherosclerosis. Some studies have shown that one of the benefits of fish oil supplementation may be helping to prevent restenosis (reclosing) of the arteries after angioplasty, but more recent studies have found no such effect. One study found that coronary bypass patients who supplemented their diet with 4 grams/day of an 83% fish oil concentrate had less reclosings (distal anastomosis occlusions) of their bypass grafts than did the controls. After one year, the patients taking fish oils had a reclosing (occlusion) rate of 27% while the control patients had a reclosing rate of 33% (a 23% relative improvement).
Eating fatty fish once or more each week or taking fish oil supplements (0.5 g/day) has been found to increase the survival of heart attack patients by 29%. A recent experiment showed that cardiac transplant patients who took fish oil supplements equivalent to 5 grams/day their operation had normal endothelium-dependent coronary vasodilation when tested after three weeks whereas it was abnormal in matched control patients. Regarding other potential benefits of fish oils, it is not known whether taking fish oil supplements will increase the survival time for heart transplant patients. [34 references]
von Schacky, Clemens. n-3 fatty acids and the prevention of coronary atherosclerosis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71 (suppl), January 2000, pp. S224-27S