Fish Oil and Heart Health

Fish Oil and the Heart

CHIETI, ITALY. Several large clinical trials have confirmed the ability of fish oils to prevent sudden cardiac death in both presumably healthy subjects as well as in patients having suffered a heart attack (myocardial infarction). Considering that sudden cardiac death, largely caused by ventricular fibrillation, accounts for somewhere between 250,000 and 300,000 deaths every year in the US alone, it is clearly highly significant that a diet rich in oily fish or fish oil supplements may reduce the incidence of sudden cardiac death by up to 45%.

Researchers at the universities of Chieti and Pisa published a review of the current “state-of-the- art” in regard to fish oil and heart health. Below are some highlights that outline some of the benefits of fish oil and the heart.

Read more: Antiarrhythmic properties of fish oils

Fish Oils and Cardiovascular Disease

AALBORG, DENMARK. There is increasing evidence that lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (LPA2) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (heart disease). About 80% of LPA2 is bound to low-density cholesterol (LDL), 15-20% is bound to high-density cholesterol (HDL), and the remainder can be found in very low-density cholesterol (VLDL). A group of Danish and German researchers conducted a study to determine if the level of LPA2 in blood plasma correlates with the severity of coronary artery disease (CAD), which is one of the most common types of heart disease, and if there is any correlation between LPA2 level and the concentration of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in fat (adipose) tissue.

Read more: Association between low EPA levels and heart disease

ATLANTA, GEORGIA. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) have been linked to lower mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD) in several, but not all, observational studies on the topic. Prevention trials of n-3 PUFAs have also supported a role in CHD prevention, but several different varieties of n-3 PUFAs were used.

Read more: Benefits of fish oils for prevention of heart disease