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Omega-3s Found to Help Your Heart Handle Stress Better

The first research documenting the heart health benefits of the omega-3s found in fish oil was released in the 1970s, but the mechanism behind those benefits had not been clearly identified. Now a study has found that one of the mechanisms is that omega-3’s appear to lower the cardiovascular effects of mental stress.

Participants in the study included 67 people with normal blood pressure who took either 9 g of fish oil (1.6 g EPA, 1.1 g DHA) or a placebo daily for eight weeks. The researchers had the participants undergo a five-minute mental stress test at the onset and conclusion of the study.

At the end of the eight week study period, the supplement group had significantly less cardiovascular activity in response to mental stress compared to the placebo group. Previous studies have linked mental stress to increased risk of heart disease.

Researchers from Michigan Technological University conducted the study. It was published in the April 2013 issue of the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

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, while ALA omega-3 fatty-acids are plant derived and can be found in flaxseed oil, vegetable oil, and walnuts.

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