Convincing evidence

There is good evidence that increased consumption of fish and dietary patterns with omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 LC PUFAs), including from food supplements, are associated with the primary prevention of coronary heart disease by:

  • Risk factor reduction, e.g. blood pressure and blood triglycerides
  • Reduction of risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality/fatal CHD events

Good fish and seafood sources of Omega-3

MackerelTroutCrab (fresh)
Tuna (fresh or frozen)HerringShark

Filling the omega-3 nutrient gap

  • Individual fatty acids have unique biological properties and beneficial health effects.
  • Recommended dietary intake for eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) + docosahexaenoic (DHA) is 0.25mg–2mg/day for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease.
  • Globally and in the UK, typical intakes of marine omega-3 LC PUFAs are low.
  • Barriers to frequent fish consumption include taste, smell and concerns about bones, and choice of fish determines whether recommendations can be achieved.
  • Strategies for achieving recommendations for EPA + DHA are food based, specifically oily fish, fortified foods and food supplements.
  • Find out more here:

Guidance for health professionals

  • It would seem prudent to encourage increased consumption of biologically active marine sources of omega-3 LC PUFAs for the general population.
  • Educational programmes to inform consumers about options to increase intake of marine omega-3 LC PUFAs.

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