WASHINGTON (AFP) – Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines and anchovies, can reduce risk of a deadly heart attack by 10 percent, a study out Monday said.
Researchers looked at blood and tissue omega-3 levels in participants of 19 studies across 16 countries, the report published in the US journal JAMA Internal Medicine said.
They found that while omega-3s “were associated with about a 10 percent lower risk of fatal heart attacks,” the same reduction of risk did not hold true for nonfatal heart attacks. That suggests “a more specific mechanism for benefits of omega-3s related to death,” the researchers said.
The new results “provide the most comprehensive picture to-date of how omega-3s may influence heart disease,” coauthor Liana Del Gobbo of the Stanford University School of Medicine added.
Both plant and seafood-based omega-3s were associated with the 10 percent lower risk in fatal heart attacks.
Fish, the major source of omega-3s, are also rich in specific proteins, vitamin D, selenium, and other minerals and elements, the researchers said.
Plant-based omega-3s are prevalent in walnuts, flaxseed oil, canola oil and some other seeds and nuts and their oils.