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Omega-3 Consumption Linked to Lower Risk of Heart Failure

A joint meta-analysis conducted by researchers at Harvard University and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston has concluded that increasing omega-3 essential fatty acids intake could dramatically reduce the risk of heart failure.

Their findings were published online ahead of print on June 6, 2012, in the journal Clinical Nutrition.

The researchers looked at seven studies which included 176,441 individuals. Over the course of the various studies, 5,480 cases of heart failure were reported.

After reviewing all of the studies, the researchers determined that people with the highest intake of omega-3 fatty acids had a 14% lower chance of heart failure when compared with individuals who had little or no omega-3 fatty acids in their diets.

They also found that every 125 mg increase in daily EPA and DHA intake reduced the risk of heart failure by 3%. Every 0.5 oz. increase in daily fish consumption was associated with a 5% reduced risk.

The researchers believe that these favorable heart health effects could be associated with the fact that omega-3s are known to lower levels of triglycerides and improve blood lipid levels. Omega-3s have also been shown to reduce inflammation, improve ventricular function, and improve heart rate.

Omega-3s are good for more than just your heart. Previous studies have linked them to an impressive number of other health benefits, including improved brain health, alleviating arthritis pain, better mood, 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, while ALA omega-3 fatty acids are plant derived and can be found in flaxseed oil, vegetable oil, and walnuts.

If you don’t like fish or you’re worried about the high mercury levels found in some fish, consider taking a daily high quality supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.

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