Should I take fish oil supplements for a healthy heart?

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people with heart disease consider taking a fish oil supplement if they are unable to consume 1 gram of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) daily by eating seafood. For people with high triglycerides, the AHA suggests fish oil capsules containing 2 to 4 grams of EPA and DHA per day. Remember to talk with your doctor ahead of time about whether you should take supplements. This is especially important if you are taking blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin), since taking omega-3 supplements may lead to bleeding problems. Consider, however, that you may need to eat fish rather than just fish oil to enjoy its heart-healthy benefits.

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

Whether you're visiting the drug store, grocery or natural food shop you'll likely find an aisle where there are jars and bottles of things for you to put in your body that are neither foods nor medicines. Ranging from vitamins an...

d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.