Cardiovascular Impact of Nutritional Supplementation With Omega-3 Fatty Acids

JACC Focus Seminar

Richard L. Weinberg, MD, PHD; Robert D. Brook, MD; Melvyn Rubenfire, MD; Kim A. Eagle, MD


J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021;77(5):593-608. 

In This Article


Omega-3 PUFAs have beneficial effects on vascular and endothelial function, inflammation, thrombosis, and plaque composition. Molecular mechanisms of omega-3 PUFAs include alterations in membrane function and structure, regulation of inflammatory molecule synthesis, production of anti-inflammatory mediators, modulation of ion channel properties, and favorable changes in atheromatous plaque volume and composition. Recent data using IPE demonstrated significant reductions in ASCVD risk; however, taken as a whole, clinical trial data related to omega-3 PUFA supplementation remain inconsistent, and much more needs to be learned about clinical indications and the effective formulation and dose of omega-3 PUFAs. Frequent consumption of fish or food sources of omega-3 PUFAs is an important component of a heart-healthy diet, and selected individuals may derive a CV benefit from omega-3 PUFAs under the guidance of a health care provider.