Omega 3 Fatty Acids In Supplements Can Reduce Heart Attacks & Strokes
Omega 3 can reduce heart attacks and strokes, and can slow the progression of atherosclerosis
Omega 3 fatty acids — found in salmon, tuna, walnuts, flaxseed, and canola and soybean oils — may help prevent blood clots from forming, as well as reduce the inflammation of artery walls. In addition, omega-3 fats also may reduce the risk of abnormal heart rhythms and have been shownto reduce triglyceride levels.
Studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acid in soy protein supplements can reduce heart attacks and strokes, and can slow the progression of atherosclerosis, or plaque-filled arteries, in heart patients.
People with existing heart disease may not be able to get enough omega-3 through diet alone.
That’s where supplements come in. Supplements also can help people with high triglycerides who need even larger doses of omega-3 to be effective
Essential fatty acids like omega-3 that contain docosa-hexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid(EPA) are vital to the body's normal development and function, especially to the brain and eyes.
Omega-3 deficiences are linked to decreased memeory and mental abilities, tingling nerve sensations, poor vision, reduced immune function, heart attacks, cancer, insulin resistance (diabesity), asthma, lupus, schizophrenia, depression, accelerated aging, stroke, obesity, arthritis, ADHD and Alazheimers Disease
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The heart health benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA may be related to their ability to reduce oxidative stress, suggests new research. Oxygen-breathing organisms naturally produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), which play an important role in a range of functions, including cell signalling.
However, over production of these ROS from smoking, pollution, sunlight, high intensity exercise, or simply ageing, may overwhelm the body’s antioxidant defences and lead to oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress has been linked to an increased risk of various diseases including cancer, Alzheimer's, and cardiovascular disease.
Previous reports had suggested that Omega 3 fatty acids may actually increase levels of oxidative stress due to their susceptibility to oxidation. New findings in Free Radical Research indicate that EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) may actually reduce oxidative stress by reducing levels of a compound called F2-isoprostanes.
Scientists from the University of Western Australia and the University of Montpellier (France) report that daily supplements of four grams or either EPA or DHA for six weeks were associated with reductions of about 20 per cent.
“The data, therefore, suggest Omega 3 fatty acids reduce oxidative stress, which is likely related, at least in part, to their anti-inflammatory actions and the expected reduction in leukocyte activity,” wrote the authors, led by Dr Emilie Mas. “These findings give further support for supplementation of the diet with 3 fatty acids for cardiovascular risk reduction.”
Dr Mas and her co-workers recruited two sets of people to participate in their study. One group was composed of 59 overweight men with abnormal blood lipid levels, and the other group was composed of type-2 diabetics being treated for high blood pressure.
The participants were randomly assigned to receive daily doses of 4 grams of EPA, DHA or olive oil (placebo) for six weeks.
At the end of the study, the researchers noted that EPA reduce urine levels of F2-isoprostanes by 24 per cent in the overweight men and by 19 per cent in the diabetics, while DHA was associated with a 14 and 23 per cent reduction in these groups, respectively, compared with the olive oil groups.
Furthermore, plasma levels of arachidonic acid (AA) were reduced following both EPA and DHA supplementation, said the researchers.
Dr Mas and her co-workers note that a previous study in healthy subjects also found benefits, which, combined with their findings, show that omega-3 supplementation may decrease F2- isoprostanes in both healthy and diseased populations.
Sources: US National Cholesterol Education Program, pgs 27-28.http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/chol/chol_tlc.htmAmerican Heart Association: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4632The EPA and DHA were supplied by the Fish Oil Test Materials Program and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and the study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, the West Australian Health Promotion Foundation, and the Royal Perth Hospital Medical Research Foundation.
Authors: Free Radical Research Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.3109/10715762.2010.492830“The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA decrease plasma F(2)-isoprostanes: Results from two placebo-controlled interventions”Author: E. Mas, R.J. Woodman, V. Burke, I.B. Puddey, L.J. Beilin, T. Durand, T.A. Mori
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