Omega-3 fatty acids, fish, fish oil and cardiovascular disease - A review with implications to Israeli nutritional guidelines

Sigal Eilat-Adar, Nestor Lipovetzky, Uri Goldbourt, Yaakov Henkin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Evidence from epidemiological and randomized controlled trials shows beneficial effects of omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids from fish and plant sources on cardiovascular disease (CVD), especially in patients with preexisting CVD. The optimal dose of n-3 is not yet determined, but prospective secondary prevention studies suggest that the addition of 0.5-1.8 grams/day of marine-derived eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, or plant derived á-linolenic acid at a dose of 1.5-3 grams/day significantly reduce subsequent cardiac events and mortality. These data have led the American Heart Association Dietary Guidelines committee to recommend to the general population the consumption of at least two servings of fatty fish per week, in addition to vegetable oils high in α-linolenic acid. The risk of adverse effects and toxicity from contaminants at this dose is low. The amount of daily n-3 fatty acids recommended for patients with coronary heart disease is 1 gram/day. In patients who cannot consume this dose of n-3 fatty acids through diet alone, addition of n3 supplements should be considered. Higher doses of contaminant-free n-3 supplements, 2-4 grams/day, can be used in the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia. Data on the content of n-3 fatty acids and contaminants in Israeli bred fish is limited. Thus, caution should be exercised when applying these recommendations to the Israeli fish market.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-591+621-622
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Alpha-linolenic acid
  • Coronary
  • Fish
  • Omega 3
  • Sudden death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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