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Fish Oil May Improve Heart Health

A recent study suggests that taking fish oil supplements may help improve endothelial health. The endothelium are the cells lining our blood vessels and poor endothelial health has been linked with a higher risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

Participants in the study included 84 people with a genetic profile that put them at moderate risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Over the course of eight weeks, they took either 1.5 grams of fish oil containing 0.9 grams of EPA and 0.6 grams of DHA or a placebo. All of the participants then underwent an eight-week washout period before switching interventions.

At the conclusion of the study, the fish oil group showed an average 126.5 increase in endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs - a marker of good endothelial function). In comparison, the placebo group had a 5.17 increase. The researchers also noted in the fish oil group an average 8.75 decrease in endothelial microparticles (EMPs - endothelial microparticles - high numbers of which can indicate disease). The placebo group had an average decrease of 2.74.

Researchers from the University of Reading in the UK conducted the study. It was published in the November 2014 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Fish oil and the omega-3s it contains have also been linked to numerous health benefits, including combating diabetes, lowering cholesterol, improving vision, reducing the risk of dementia and relieving depression.

If you’re looking to increase your fish oil intake, try adding darker fish, such as salmon or tuna, to your diet. If you don’t like the taste of fish or are just finding it hard to work it into your meal plans, consider taking a high quality supplement. Make sure your supplement is tested for purity and potency.

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