Carl “Chip” Lavie, M.D.

Omega-3 supplements should be a standard preventive treatment for people with cardiovascular disease or who are recovering from heart attack, according to Mayo Clinic researchers.

A review of 40 clinical trials provided “authoritative evidence” for consuming more EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 fats, investigators said. These fats, found in foods such as fish and in commercial supplements, are associated with a statistically significant reduced risk of:

  • Fatal myocardial infarction by 35%
  • Myocardial infarction by 13%
  • Coronary heart disease events by 10%
  • CHD mortality by 9%

Cardiovascular benefits appeared to increase with dosage, with optimal benefits occurring in doses of ranging from 1000 mg to 2000 mg of EPA and DHA per day, reported Carl “Chip” Lavie, M.D., a cardiologist at Ochsner Health in New Orleans.

Based on the study results, “whatever [omega-3 fats] patients are getting through the diet, they likely need more,” Lavie concluded.

The study was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.