Coronary Artery Disease and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Coronary artery disease affects millions of men and women worldwide. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, an unhealthy diet and inactivity can increase the risk of coronary artery disease and its complications.

Several studies have analyzed the benefits of a healthy diet in the prevention of this disease and other heart conditions. Among the foods researched, omega 3 fatty acids have shown several positive benefits in people at an increased risk of heart disease.

Oily fish is the main source of the omega 3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) that protect against heart disease. Another form of omega acid that is present in plants called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) also promotes heart health.

Some examples of oily fish that are an abundant source of these fatty acids are mackerel, lake trout, albacore tuna, herring, sardines and salmon. The ALA form of omega 3 is found in several “power seeds” such as hemp and flax and also in soybeans and walnuts. The short chain omega 3 ALA is a precursor to the long-chain omega 3s EPA and DHA. However, research suggests that less than 5% of the ALA actually gets converted to EPA and less than 0.5% to DHA.

Several studies suggest that taking omega 3 (EPA+DHA) supplements in doses of between 0.5 to 1.8 grams per day can reduce the number of deaths from heart disease. For ALA, the recommended dose is 1.5 to 3.0 grams per day. According to the 2000 dietary guidelines form the American Heart Association, at least two servings of fish (especially fatty fish) per week should be eaten to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

The regular intake of omega 3 fatty acids has been found to reduce the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, sudden cardiac death, heart attack, stroke, high blood cholesterol, atherosclerotic plaque formation, raised blood pressure, reduced endothelial function and inflammatory reactions.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 26, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2019, February 26). Coronary Artery Disease and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. News-Medical. Retrieved on July 24, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Coronary Artery Disease and Omega-3 Fatty Acids". News-Medical. 24 July 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Coronary Artery Disease and Omega-3 Fatty Acids". News-Medical. (accessed July 24, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2019. Coronary Artery Disease and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. News-Medical, viewed 24 July 2024,


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
New PREVENT risk equations could reduce statin use by 40%, study finds