AP NEWS

Recent studies say fish oil could boost your heart

November 16, 2018

Heart disease is the leading killer in America, and San Antonio is no exception.

But as the Washington Post reports, two recent major studies point to the possibility that medications derived from fish oils could help protect people from heart attacks, strokes and other types of cardiovascular ailments. These are medications, not supplements.

The long-term studies involved two drugs derived from omega-3 fatty acids. Both studies found the drugs, if taken appropriately, made a significant difference for people with diabetes or heart disease.

Both studies were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and unveiled during the American Heart Association’s 2018 Scientific Sessions in Chicago.

One study found that people who take statins — drugs to lower bad cholesterol, known as LDL — were less likely to have heart issues if they also took 2 grams of a drug called Vascepa.

The other study looked at a drug called Lovaza, also derived from omega-3 fatty acids, and found those who took the drug were 28 percent less likely to have a heart attack than those who received a placebo.

According to the Post, Dr. JoAnn Manson, who led this second study and is chief of the division of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said the results are “promising signals” about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for heart health from the drug. But she said that doesn’t mean people should be inhaling omega-3 supplements or demanding prescriptions from their doctors.

The best place to start, she said, is with diet. Omega-3s can be found in numerous fish, including salmon and mackerel. It’s also in walnuts, soybeans and chia seeds, among other foods.

As for these recent studies, for anyone concerned about heart health, a conversation with your doctor about diet and recent research might be the right starting point.

AP RADIO
Update hourly