Omega-3 fatty acids in fish and dietary supplements are associated with lower odds of heart disease even in people already at elevated risk because of excessive levels of fats or bad cholesterol in their blood, a research review suggests. Researchers examined published research on EPA and DHA. They found that consumption of omega-3s in food or supplements was associated with a 16 percent lower risk of heart disease in people with high triglycerides, or fats, in the blood, and a 14 percent lower risk for patients with elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the bad kind.
To examine the connection between omega-3s and heart disease, researchers analyzed data from 18 trials that randomly assigned about 93,000 people to get a certain amount of these nutrients. The study also reviewed results from another 17 previously published trials that observed about 732,000 people over long periods of time while they followed their usual diets. Over all of these studies, omega-3s were tied to a statistically meaningful 18 percent reduction in the risk of heart disease.