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  • Context (TOI): A recent study challenges the health benefits of fish oil supplements rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • The study concluded that regular fish oil was associated with a 13% higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation (a heart rhythm disorder) and 5% increased risk of stroke in the general population but could help in managing disease progression.
  • Fish oil is derived from the tissues of fatty fish. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
  • These essential fats are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and their role in maintaining various bodily functions, including brain and heart health.

Omega-3 fatty acids

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA).
  • It is rich in foods such as marine fish, walnuts, soybeans, and seeds such as flax seed oil and canola oil.


  • EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid): EPA is a “marine omega-3” because it is found in fish.
  • DHA (docosahexaenoic acid): DHA is also a marine omega-3 found in fish.
  • ALA (alpha-linolenic acid): ALA is the form of omega-3 found in plants.

Benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids

  • It lowers blood pressure and helps reduce joint inflammation in rheumatoid disease.
  • It helps prevent and alleviate dementia, depression, asthma, migraine, and diabetes.
  • High doses of EPA and DHA can significantly lower blood triglyceride levels. DHA, in particular, is vital for brain health and cognitive function.
  • It reduces the risk of heart attack and prevents arrhythmias.
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