The results from a large pooled observational study shows that biomarkers of plant-based as well as seafood-based omega-3 fatty acid consumption were associated with an approximately 9% lower risk of fatal coronary heart disease (CHD).
This study assessed the association between biomarkers of intake of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DPA, DHA and ALA) and coronary heart disease (CHD). This study used data from 19 observational studies, including 45.637 unique participants without CHD at baseline from 16 countries. During the median follow-up of 10 years, 7972 incident CHD events, 7157 nonfatal myocardial infarctions (MI), and 2781 fatal CHD events occurred.
The plant-based omega-3 fatty acid ALA was associated with a 9% lower risk of fatal CHD (RR 0.91 (95%CI 0.84-0.98)). Each seafood-based omega-3 fatty acid (EPA, DPA, DHA) was associated with an approximately 9% lower risk of fatal CHD. Associations between plant-based and seafood-based omega-3 fatty acids and nonfatal MI and total CHD were less clear.
The authors concluded that habitual consumption of plant-based and seafood omega-3 PUFAs are associated with a modestly lower risk of fatal CHD.
The authors suggest that their findings, combined with relative affordability, global accessibility, and sustainability of ALA, support the potential importance of ALA for improving global cardiovascular health and that consumption of omega-3-rich foods should be encouraged.
REFERENCE: Liana C. Del Gobbo et al (2016). Ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid biomarkers and coronary heart disease: pooling project of 19 cohort studies. JAMA internal medicine.
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