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Can Boosting Omega-3 Intake Really Cut Heart Attack Risk by 65%?

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Baked Salmon

Those who ate the most fish providing the most omega-3 fatty acids –about 6 ounces a day—cut heart attacks and other nonfatal heart events a remarkable two-thirds compared with those who ate less than an ounce of fish a day. Omega-3s help reduce blood clots and regulate vascular functioning and heart rhythms.

It’s well-known that small to moderate fish consumption can reduce cardiovascular risk, but researchers say this is the first large study to show that eating more fish adds so much extra protection.

In the study, heart attack risk dropped

  • 30% in those who ate about 2 ounces of fish  or 600 mg of omega-3 daily.
  • 40% in those who ate 3-4 ounces of fish or 900-1300  mg of omega-3 a day.
  • 65% in those who ate 6.3 ounces of fish with 2100 mg of omega-3.every day.

If you can’t eat so much fish, are fish oil supplements a substitute? In this study, the omega-3 oils came from eating fish, so it doesn’t prove that the protection came completely from the oils alone.  But it’s a good bet that heart protection closely follows intake of omega-3s.

Experts mainly credit the omega-3 fatty acids in fish for reducing cardiovascular disease , as well as arthritis and cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s,  although fish contains other nutrients that may help.

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