Invited Review ArticleFish Oil and Heart Healthde Leiris, Joël DSc; de Lorgeril, Michel MD, PhD; Boucher, François PhDAuthor Information From the Cœur et Nutrition, Université de Grenoble, La Tronche, France. Received for publication March 30, 2009; accepted May 14, 2009. The authors report no conflicts of interest. Reprints: Joël de Leiris, DSc, Cœur & Nutrition, PRETA-TIMC, Bâtiment Jean Roget, Domaine de la Merci, UJF, La Tronche 38706, France (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology: November 2009 - Volume 54 - Issue 5 - p 378-384 doi: 10.1097/FJC.0b013e3181af6c56 Buy Metrics Abstract Large controlled trials have shown that intake of fish oil (marine n-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid), whether from dietary sources or fish oil supplements, may exhibit beneficial effects on total and cardiovascular disease mortality. Stabilization of cell membranes and suppression of cardiac arrhythmias have been identified as possible mechanisms. Moreover, n-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects, reduce blood pressure, and may also be antiatherogenic. Finally, high doses of n-3 fatty acids can lower elevated serum triglyceride levels. The n-3 index (erythrocyte eicosapentaenoic acid plus docosahexaenoic acid) may be considered as a potential risk marker for coronary heart disease mortality, especially sudden cardiac death. The balance of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids is an important determinant in decreasing the risk for coronary heart disease, both in the primary and in the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. Patients with known coronary heart disease should be recommended to consume n-3 fatty acid supplements at 1 g per day, without raising concerns for interactions with other medications or side effects. On the other hand, fish in the diet (preferably oily fish, 1-2 meals/week) should be considered as part of a healthy diet low in saturated fat. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.