Yet Another Reason to Consume More Omega-3s
A study published in the December 2009 issue of the Journal of Food Science shows yet another heart benefit of oily fish.
The study included 934 people with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). ACS is an umbrella term that covers a number of symptoms, including angina and heart attack, that are related to the heart not receiving enough blood.
The participants were followed for 3 years and over that time period 437 of them developed a dangerous heart condition called left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD). LVSD is the condition where the left ventricle can only manage to eject approximately 40% of the blood in it with each contraction. Left untreated, LVSD will ultimately lead to heart failure.
Using food frequency questionnaires, the researchers found that moderate fish consumption (1-2 times per week) was associated with a 53% reduction in LVSD risk.
The researchers also found that consumption of oily fish helps relax blood vessels and improve blood flow.
This was not the first study to link oily fish withheart health. In fact, the science goes all the way back to the 1970s.
To date these studies have shown that oily fish is linked to improvements in blood lipid levels, a reduced tendency of thrombosis, blood pressure and heart rate improvements and improved vascular function.
The omega-3 essential fatty acids in oily fish have also been shown to provide numerous health benefits beyond the heart including improved cognitive function and aiding in weight loss.
With the body of evidence backing the health benefits of omega-3s growing daily, it makes sense to try incorporating more of these essential fatty acids in your everyday diet.
Salmon, mackerel, lake trout and albacore tuna all have very high omega-3 levels. If you opt for a supplement, be sure that it is a quality supplement high in DHA and EPA and certified for purity.