Epidemiological studies have shown that fish oil intake has cardioprotective effects. These benefits are ascribed to the active ingredients of fish oil, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Experimental and clinical studies have demonstrated that EPA and DHA exhibit their cardioprotective mechanisms via anti-arrhythmic, anti-atherogenic, anti-thrombotic and vasoprotective effects. In clinical trials, the clinical benefit of fish oil intake appears to be more prominent on secondary prevention than primary prevention. Furthermore, the triglyceride-lowering property of fish oil may be more beneficial for primary prevention in certain high risk patients, such as patients with Type II diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome. Nevertheless, fish oil has also been shown to be associated with worsening of glycaemic control, and increasing in plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level. Therefore, whether fish oil supplement has cardioprotective effects in different selected subgroups of high risk subjects remain unclear, and further randomized controlled trials are required.
Ching-Yuen Wong, Chu-Pak Lau, Hung-Fat Tse, Role of Fish Oil in Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases: A Systematic Review Journal of the Hong Kong College of Cardiology 2007;15(1) https://doi.org/10.55503/2790-6744.1096