Proceedings of the Nutrition Society

Conference on ‘Dietary strategies for the management of cardiovascular risk’

Dietary n-3 PUFA and CVD: a review of the evidence

A joint meeting between the Nutrition Society and the Royal Society of Medicine, the Royal Society of Medicine, London. 11–12 December 2012.

Trevor A. Mori 

School of Medicine and Pharmacology, Royal Perth Hospital Unit, University of Western Australia and the Cardiovascular Research Centre, Perth, Western Australia, Australia


Many clinical and epidemiological studies have shown that the polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from fish and fish oils, provide cardiovascular protection, particularly in the setting of secondary prevention. n-3 Fatty acids beneficially influence a number of cardiometabolic risk factors including blood pressure, cardiac function, vascular reactivity and lipids, as well as having anti-platelet, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative actions. They do not appear to adversely interact with other medications such as statins and other lipid-lowering drugs or antihypertensive medications. n-3 Fatty acids have gained widespread usage by general practitioners and clinicians in a number of clinical settings such as pregnancy and infant development, secondary prevention in CHD patients, treatment of dyslipidaemias and haemodialysis patients. Small doses are achievable with consumption of two to three oily fish meals per week or via purified encapsulated preparations now readily available. n-3 Fatty acids, particularly when consumed as fish, should be considered an important component of a healthy diet. The present paper reviews the effects of n-3 fatty acids on cardiometabolic risk factors, concentrating particularly on the evidence from randomised controlled studies in human subjects.

(Online publication October 11 2013)

Key Words:

  • n -3 Fatty acids;
  • Fish oils;
  • Fish;
  • Cardiovascular risk factors;
  • Cardiometabolic risk factors;
  • Human studies


Corresponding author: Professor T. A. Mori, fax 61 8 9224 0246, email