Diet-NutritionHeart DiseaseOmega-3 Fatty Acids

Rationale for omega-3 fatty acids in heart disease

Researchers from the University of South Dakota in Sioux Falls have reviewed the rationale for recommending long-chain omega-3 fatty acids  — eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (EPA and DHA) — in pill or fish form for general heart health.

Here it is in case your forgot.

  • 6 epidemiological studies of EPA + DHA intake and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) death have been conducted in the US.
  • 5 studies reported significantly lower risk with higher intake.
  • A meta-analysis of the combined data from the studies showed significant risk reductions of 37% at an average EPA + DHA intake of 566 mg/day.

The bottom line?
US officials recommend that the target intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids is 400 to 500 mg/day of EPA + DHA.

This can be achieved by eating 2 servings per week of oily fish (the current American Heart Association recommendation).

11/3/08 20:55 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.