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Got High Triglycerides? Discover Omega-3s Super Heart-Protective Powers

Got High Triglycerides? Discover Omega-3s Super Heart-Protective Powers

Eating a diet packed with omega-3s can help you prevent cardiovascular disease.

Wolverine can regenerate any wounded tissue or limb, Superman has X-ray vision and the Black Panther can smell fear, hear the un-hearable and see in almost total darkness. They have super powers, for sure, but they pale compared to the ability of a prescription form of EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid, to protect your heart if you have high triglycerides.

Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School looked at data from folks in the REDUCE-IT trial who had elevated triglycerides (from 150 to 499mg/dL) and were taking a statin to prevent or control cardiovascular disease. When participants were given two grams twice a day of the Rx EPA called icosapent ethyl, they saw their risk of a first heart attack plummet by 25 percent, second events by 32 percent, third events by 31 percent and fourth or more events were cut nearly in half. The EPA also prevented one in five cardiovascular-related deaths.

Your take-away: If you have persistently elevated triglycerides, ask your doctor about icosapent ethyl. And everyone, with or without risks of heart disease, should enjoy EPA-rich salmon and ocean trout (and algae). Chinook salmon, for example, contains 1.01 grams (that’s 1000mg) of EPA per three-ounce serving.

And don’t short change yourself on other forms of omega-3: DHA is also found in fish such as salmon and ALA is in flaxseed, canola and soybean oil, nuts and dark leafy veggies. EPA, DHA and ALA all help prevent or control hypertension, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, depression, cognitive dysfunction and type 2 diabetes.

Medically reviewed in November 2019.

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