Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that's thought to reduce inflammation throughout the body, a contributing factor to coronary artery disease.
- Fish and fish oil are the most effective sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish, such as salmon, herring and to a lesser extent tuna, contain the most omega-3 fatty acids and therefore the most benefit. Fish oil supplements may offer benefit, but the evidence is strongest for eating fish.
- Flax and flaxseed oil also contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, though studies have not found these sources to be as effective as fish. The shell on raw flaxseeds also contains soluble fiber, which can help lower blood cholesterol.
- Other dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, canola oil, soybeans and soybean oil. These foods contain smaller amounts of omega-3 fatty acids than do fish and fish oil, and evidence for their benefit to heart health isn't as strong.
Other supplements may help reduce your blood pressure or cholesterol level, two other contributing factors to coronary artery disease. These include:
Jun. 29, 2012
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
- Beta-sitosterol (found in oral supplements and some margarines, such as Promise Activ)
- Blond psyllium
- Coenzyme Q10
- Oat bran (found in oatmeal and whole oats)
- Sitostanol (found in oral supplements and some margarines, such as Benecol)
- Coronary artery disease. National Lung, Heart, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Cad/CAD_WhatIs.html. Accessed May 22, 2012.
- Hall SL, et al. Secondary prevention of coronary artery disease. American Family Physician. 2010;81:289.
- The seventh report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. Bethesda, Md.: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/hypertension/. Accessed May 9, 2012.
- Executive summary of the Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol/index.htm. Accessed May 9, 2012.
- Natural medicines in the clinical management of hyperlipidemia. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed May 9, 2012.
- Natural medicines in the clinical management of hypertension. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed May 9, 2012.
- Fish and omega-3 fatty acids. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Fish-and-Omega-3-Fatty-Acids_UCM_303248_Article.jsp. Accessed May 23, 2012.
- Wilson PWF. Overview of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed May 23, 2012.