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Mayo Clinic proceedings highlights research about cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids
Date:3/10/2008

" According to Dr. OKeefe, people with known coronary artery disease should consume about 1 gram per day, while people without disease should consume at least 500 milligrams (mg) per day.

Patients with high triglyceride levels can benefit from treatment with 3 to 4 grams daily of DHA and EPA, says Dr. OKeefe. Research shows that this dosage lowers triglyceride levels by 20 to 50 percent.

About two meals of oily fish can provide 400 to 500 mg of DHA and EPA, so patients who need to consume higher levels of these fatty-acids may choose to use fish oil supplements to reach these targets.

Dr. OKeefe also notes that research supports the effectiveness of combining the consumption of fish oil with the use of cholesterol-lowering medications called statins. Combination therapy with omega-3 fatty acids and a statin is a safe and effective way to improve lipid levels and cardiovascular health beyond the benefits provided by statin therapy alone. Blood DHA and EPA levels could one day be used to identify patients with deficient levels and to individualize therapeutic recommendations.

Dr. OKeefe found little evidence of serious adverse effects associated with fish oil consumption. In prospective placebo-controlled trials, no adverse effects were observed to occur at a frequency of more than 5 percent, and no difference in frequency was noted between the placebo and omega-3 fatty acid groups, he says.

The most commonly observed side effects include nausea, upset stomach and a fishy burp. Taking the supplement at bedtime or with meals, keeping fish oil capsules in the freezer or using enteric-coated supplements may help reduce burping and upset stomach symptoms.


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Contact: John Murphy
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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