The answer is “YES” when given in adequate amounts

The latest research on Omega 3 supplements has finally confirmed what we at TrueMD have been saying for years: Omega 3 free fatty acids DO decrease your risks of developing cardiovascular disease. The key is you must take them preventively and you must take them in adequate doses.

Recently the researchers at Harvard University evaluated a large number of clinical trials that focused on the use of Omega 3 free fatty acids. This is called a meta-analysis, and the studies evaluated were called randomized trials, which are the best as far as statistically significant. The results were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.[1]

The conclusion of this extensive evaluation was that those people who took omega-3 supplements in an adequate dose (at least 850 mg/d) had a lower risk of heart disease. When they took twice that amount, they had an even lower risk. We usually recommend that people take their omegas twice a day and taking two capsules twice a day is even better, as confirmed by this study.

Heart disease was defined as having a heart attack, death from cardiovascular disease, and death from coronary heart disease. These are no small beans but significant complications that could potentially be reduced by people taking their omega 3’s daily.

The study included 120,000 adults from 13 large scale trials done worldwide. The reduction was at least an 8% reduction in heart disease, according to the evaluators when omegas were taken once a day at a dose of at least 840 mg per day. But taking them twice a day proved even better. It was postulated that even higher doses could provide even greater benefits for decreasing cardiovascular risk.

The senior author, Dr. JoAnn Manson concluded, “Although public health recommendations should focus on increasing fish consumption, having an overall heart-healthy diet, being physically active, and having other healthy lifestyle practices, this study suggests that omega-3 supplementation may have a role in appropriate patients.”

Other studies have confirmed this association between taking omega 3 FFAs as preventive for cardiovascular disease.[2] Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women. Millions of people experience cardiovascular disease events every year. Taking omega 3’s could help many people avoid hundreds of thousands of heart attacks and death from these problems.

Of course, eating oily fish, such as salmon is beneficial. But it is difficult to eat that much salmon every day. Thus, although it is important to increase fish consumption, as we recommend with our diet program, taking omega 3 supplements also helps. In addition, having an overall heart-healthy diet and lifestyle with good physically activity is very important, as we have always recommended. But now we have further proof that omega-3 supplementation is also important for your heart health. In addition they’re good for your brain, as discussed in another article on our blog.

But you can’t wait until you get heart disease for these to work. Just like eating right and exercising is preventive, taking omegas are good for prevention. So don’t wait to do this activity; take your omegas regularly every day to help give you that extra benefit for your heart. 

[1] Hu Y, Hu FB, Manson JE. Marine Omega‐3 Supplementation and Cardiovascular Disease: An Updated Meta‐Analysis of 13 Randomized Controlled Trials Involving 127 477 Participants. JAMA Oct 2019.

[2] Marik PE, Varon J. Omega-3 Dietary Supplements and the Risk of Cardiovascular Events:  Systematic Review.   Clin. Cardiol. 32, 7, 365–372 (2009). DOI:10.1002/clc.20604