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Omega 3's and heart disease - prevention not cure

2 min read

Sometimes it's difficult to know if you're getting the health benefits you want from the supplements you're taking, and this in large part might be due to the fact that nutritional supplementation is often about prevention not cure.

Taking supplements now can help protect your future health

There are a lot of health claims surrounding omega-3's and it's pretty safe to say they're good for you - some of the latest research has reaffirmed the benefits of omega 3's in helping to reduce the risk of getting heart disease but not in it's management.

A Spanish team of researchers looked at scientific data from multiple studies, provided between 2012 and 2016, on the effects of taking omega 3's on cardiovascular risk factors including inflammation and oxidative stress. It included studies using EPA and DHA either singly or in combination.

The results of the analysis confirming previous recommendations for using omega 3's to reduce heart disease risk factors. However, contrary to some previous research, it also found that supplementation did not improve management of cardiovascular disease (CVD) or its associated complications.

The study, published in Clinical Nutrition, reported that daily supplementation with at least 1 gram of omega 3's provided a protective effect against cardiovascular risk in healthy adults who were either overweight and suffering from high triglyceride levels (associated with atherosclerosis) or high cholesterol.

The study's authors concluded:

"The use of omega 3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids for ameliorating CVD risk factors can be recommended. However the administration of omega-3 does not seem to show any benefit for the management of CVD or associated complications."

The results of this analysis saw the protective effects of omega 3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids regardless of whether they were consumed via capsules or marine foods. Good sources of omega 3's include oily fish such as salmon and mackerel or if you're not a fish fan you may like to opt for a easy and convenient Omega 3 supplement.

A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.