Can Omega-3 Fats Reduce the Risk of Fatal Heart Attacks?

According to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, the omega-3 fats found in some vegetable oil, such as flax and canola, and in fish, may reduce the risk of fatal heart attacks.

Of the 76,000 participants in the Nurses’ Health Study, women who consumed the most alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3 fat), were about half as likely to die of a heart attack than women who consumed the least.

One of the researchers stated that omega-3 fats in both fish and some vegetable oils may both reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death. A “sudden death” heart attack occurs when the heart loses its normal rhythm. Previous studies have shown a correlation between omega-3 fats from fish or vegetable oil with an anti-arrhythmic effect in animals.

Source: Amer. J. Clin. Nutr. 69: 827, 890, 1999.

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