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Omega-3s May Boost Blood Flow, Performance in Athletes
A recent study suggests that supplements of omega-3 may increase nitric oxide in the blood and increase blood flow, leading to better exercise performance in cyclists.
Participants in the study included 13 elite cyclists who were given either 1.3 g of omega-3s or a placebo daily for three weeks. At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted an average increase in nitric oxide levels of 9.6 micromoles per liter in the omega-3 group, while the placebo group showed increases of only 1.4 micromoles per liter.
The researchers also noted a 5.25% increase in flow-mediated dilation in the omega-3 group. This was associated with notable increases in maximal oxygen intake when compared with the placebo.
Researchers from the Academy of Physical Education in Katowice and the Medical University of Silesia conducted the study. It was published in the June 2015 issue of the European Journal of Sports Sciences.
Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including alleviating arthritis pain, better moods, improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system.
Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in DHA and EPA omega-3s.
Beta-Glucan Linked to Decrease in Cholesterol
Many previous studies have found high levels of cholesterol, especially high levels of LDL or bad cholesterol, to be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events. A recent study suggests that consuming beta-glucan may help lower total and LDL cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol.
Researchers from the Peoples Hospital of Gaozhu in China examined 17 randomized controlled trials with a total of 916 subjects. Analysis of the data from the studies showed that beta-glucan was associated with an average 26 mmol/L and 21 mmol/L reduction of total and LDL cholesterol, respectively, but only in people with high cholesterol.
There were no adverse effects noted in any of the trials.
The study was published online ahead of print on April 29, 2015, in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Disease.
Previous studies have linked beta-glucan intake with lower cholesterol, managing diabetes, controlling allergies and improving the appearance of skin.
Beta-glucan can be found in dietary sources such as yeasts, algae, lichens, oats and barley. A high quality supplement is also a good option if youre looking to increase your beta-glucan intake.