Omega-3 Fatty-Acids May Work Differently For Men and Women
Omega-3 fatty-acids have been linked to improved cardiovascular health in numerous studies, but a report from researchers at the University of Newcastle in Australia suggests that the benefits may vary by gender.
The findings were published on November 30, 2011, in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
The study included 15 healthy men and 15 healthy women with an average age of 44. Before administering any interventions, the researchers measured platelet aggregation, microparticle activity and microparticle levels.
The participants were then randomly assigned to receive either 1 gram of EPA omega-3 fatty-acids , 1 gram of DHA omega-3 fatty-acids or a dose of sunflower oil as a placebo,.
After 24 hours, the researchers took the same measurements and noted a 13.3 % reduction in platelet aggregation in the EPA group and 11.9% reduction in the DHA group when compared with the placebo. Aggregation, or buildup, of platelets in the blood leads to blood clots which in turn can lead to stroke or heart attack.
Microparticle reduction was observed only in the male EPA group, with a 20% reduction in microparticles. Microparticles are a known marker of cardiovascular and thrombotic diseases.
These findings suggest that EPA supplementation may provide stronger protection against cardiovascular diseases in men than in women.
This study is just one more in the wide body of research showing exactly how omega-3 fatty-acids benefit your health. In addition to cardiovascular health, omega-3s have been linked to an impressive number of health benefits. These include improved heart health, alleviating arthritis pain, improved brain functioning, 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 omega-3s but you can also increase your omega-3 intake with a high quality supplement. Make sure your supplement has been tested for purity and potency in order to avoid harmful mercury levels and to get the most out of your daily intake.