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Eat Fish for a Healthy Heart

Heart Foundation - Fish Oil

The Heart, Lung & Circulation Journal has this week published an evidence review to inform the Heart Foundation’s position on fish and omega-3 (including fish oil supplements).

National Heart Foundation CEO Marry Barry said that in 2013 the Heart Foundation commenced a review of its evidence and position on Omega-3 polyunsaturated fat, fish oil and fish.

Experts in cardiology, nutrition and cardiovascular disease donated their time to conduct the clinical review.

“The need for this review arose from new research being published and as evidence based organization it was important we updated our 2008 position to reflect this,” Ms Barry said.

“Recent scientific evidence assessed as part of our review found higher fish intake was consistently associated with lower rates of sudden cardiac death, stroke, heart failure and heart attack.”

The recommendations of the review are that:

  • The Heart Foundation is urging all Australians to eat two-three serves of fish, including oily fish, each week to reduce their risk of heart disease Oily fish includes; salmon, blue-eye trevally, blue mackerel, herring, canned salmon, sardines and some varieties of canned tuna;
  • Eating fish is the recommended way to consume essential Omega-3 nutrients for heart health; however supplements will provide people who do not eat fish with some level of marine-sourced Omega-3s. There is no evidence to suggest that Omega-3 supplements are harmful in any way; and
  • Omega-3 supplements can play a beneficial role in the treatment of those with high triglycerides and in the secondary prevention of heart disease (specifically heart failure).

A position statement outlining the Heart Foundation’s recommendations will soon be released.

The Heart Foundation’s recommendations for fish consumption are consistent with those of Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ), the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the American Heart Association (AHA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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