[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Citations 0
March 26, 2003

Self-management of Chronic Disease—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(12):1509-1511. doi:10.1001/jama.289.12.1509-a

In Reply: Dr McDougall's assertion that fish and omega-3 fatty acid intake is harmful to cardiac and general health runs contradictory to a large body of evidence from epidemiological studies and clinical trials reviewed in our article. In particular, omega-3 fatty acids are known to have potent triglyceride-lowering effects (the effects on total cholesterol are relatively small) and antiarrhythmia effects. More than a dozen epidemiologic studies have shown that higher consumption of fish is associated with lower risk of fatal CHD. In addition, clinical trials have shown that omega-3 fatty acids reduce risk of sudden death and total mortality. Although mercury contamination from some types of fish may attenuate the benefits of marine omega-3 fatty acids,1 this issue needs further investigation. In dietary practice, consumption of a variety of fish can minimize mercury exposure from fish.2