Foods rich in omega-3 can reduce the risk of death after heart attack: Study

Maintaining good heart health is all about what your diet is. Foods that are good for your heart can tremendously reduce the risks factors. Here’s how
How to keep your brain young?
Fish consumption is considered good for eyes. Image courtesy: Pexels
ANI Published: 28 Oct 2020, 18:22 pm IST
  • 63

In today’s time maintaining heart health isn’t easy. And yet, with an increased risk of heart attacks, it has become really important to take care of your ticker. So then how can you manage this impossible feat? Well, by being physically active and eating a healthy diet. 

When it comes to diet, a new study also found that regular consumption of foods that are rich in omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which are generally found in marine foods like fatty fish, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), found in plant foods like walnuts, was associated with improved outcomes in individuals who have suffered a heart attack, including decreased risk of death.

Here’s how the study was conducted…

The study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that the consumption of both ALA and EPA provided the greatest benefit. 

The observational study studied 944 participants who had experienced a very serious heart attack in which one of the heart’s major arteries was blocked. Clinicians refer to this as an ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).

A lead researcher in the study, Dr Aleix Sala-Vila explains, “Heart attacks are still very common, and aside from treatments to keep the patient alive, researchers have been exploring approaches to secure the quality of life of the patient after the heart attack.”

Dr Aleix suggests, “What is novel about this research is that it shows that ALA and EPA appear to be partners in improving the long-term outcomes of heart attack sufferers. Consuming both marine and plant-based omega-3s, from foods like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed seems to offer the greatest protection.”

family history of heart disease
Maintain a heart-friendly lifestyle. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
The level of omega-3 was tested in order to reach this conclusion

The researchers determined the level of omega-3s in the participant’s blood. This is a reliable way to establish the intake of omega-3s during the weeks leading up to the heart attack. 

Also, read: 5 mistakes you’re making during the pandemic that can affect your heart health

Next, they explored whether those with higher blood levels of omega-3s at the time of the heart attack were at a decreased risk of suffering complications during a three-year follow-up period.

Specifically, the researchers found that those who showed higher blood levels of ALA were at a decreased risk of three-year all-cause mortality. Also, those with higher levels of EPA were at a decreased risk of death or needing hospital readmission for cardiovascular reasons.

Select Topics of your interest and let us customize your feed.


Now if you are vegetarian, walnuts can be your heart’s best friend! Walnuts have long been recognized as a heart-healthy food, backed by more than 30 years of research showing positive outcomes related to cardiovascular health such as cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation, endothelial function, and plaque formation. Walnuts are also the only nut with an excellent source of omega-3 ALA, providing 2.5 grams per one ounce.

Also, watch:

To conclude…

While these results are encouraging, they do not prove cause and effect. Additional research is needed to determine whether EPA and ALA intake specifically contributed to the outcomes, or if other factors like socioeconomic status, education, and pharmacologic treatments also had an effect. 

  • 63

Healthshots Wellness Newsletter

Get your Daily Dose of Wellness in your Inbox

Subscribe Now
Next Story