Cardiovascular Impact of Nutritional Supplementation With Omega-3 Fatty Acids: JACC Focus Seminar

Richard L. Weinberg*, Robert D. Brook, Melvyn Rubenfire, Kim A. Eagle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are a key component of a heart-healthy diet. For patients without clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, 2 or more servings of fatty fish per week is recommended to obtain adequate intake of omega-3 PUFAs. If this not possible, dietary supplementation with an appropriate fish oil may be reasonable. Supplementation with omega-3 PUFA capsules serves 2 distinct but overlapping roles: treatment of hypertriglyceridemia and prevention of cardiovascular events. Marine-derived omega-3 PUFAs reduce triglycerides and have pleiotropic effects including decreasing inflammation, improving plaque composition and stability, and altering cellular membranes. Clinical trial data have shown inconsistent results with omega-3 PUFAs improving cardiovascular outcomes. In this paper, the authors provide an overview of PUFAs and a summary of key clinical trial data. Recent trial data suggest the use of prescription eicosapentaenoic acid ethyl ester for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease event reduction in selected populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-608
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 9 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • docosahexaenoic acid
  • eicosapentaenoic acid
  • fish oil
  • omega-3 fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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