Have you read about this lately? There have been numerous studies concerning fish oil and heart disease. More specifically, the studies have concerned the benefit of increased intakes of omega-3 fatty acids, as it relates to the risk of atherosclerosis and other types of cardiovascular diseases. Here’s a look at what these studies have shown.
First, fish oils have anti-coagulant activity, which means they prevent the formation of blood clots. Blood clots are responsible for heart attacks and strokes.
Second, they prevent platelet aggregation, which is a similar quality. But, it means that they prevent the blood platelets from sticking to the interior of the arterial walls. That should help prevent atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries and may be beneficial for varicose veins, as well as other health problems concerning the tiniest blood vessels.
Third, they lower blood pressure slightly, but only in people that have hypertension; high blood pressure. Fourth, they lower total blood triglycerides.
Triglycerides are a combination of fatty acids and glycerin in the bloodstream. It seems strange that fish oils, which are triglycerides, when consumed would lower blood triglycerides, but it is because of the type of fatty acids the triglycerides contain.
When it comes to fish oil and heart disease prevention, the benefits in triglyceride reduction are due to an increase in “good” HDL cholesterol levels. HDL cholesterol helps to gather up “bad” LDL and VLDL particles, carrying them back to the liver for reprocessing or disposal. Because of this “gathering” ability, you get a net reduction of total blood triglycerides.
High triglycerides are believed to be a risk factor for atherosclerosis, because it is oxidized fatty acids that clog the arteries. Of course, lowering the amount of fatty acids in the bloodstream is only one step. The other is to reduce the risk of oxidation, which is done by increasing your intake of antioxidants.
The fifth finding in the studies concerning fish oil and heart disease has to do with inflammation. When inflammatory white blood cells pass through the arterial walls and into the tissues, inflammation occurs. Inflammation in the tissues surrounding the blood vessels reduces blood flow, raises blood pressure and increases the risk of blockages.
In a recent study, it was shown that omega-3 fatty acids prevent the inflammatory molecules from passing through the arterial walls. Other studies have shown direct benefits for reducing inflammation.
So, when the subject is fish oil and heart disease, there are numerous benefits. The only caution has to do with how you choose a good supplement. It should contain high levels of a specific omega-3 called Docosahexaenoic acid or DHA.
Most supplements contain more Eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA. Research indicates that DHA is most beneficial for reducing triglycerides and for other benefits.
The omega-3s are not only beneficial for cardiovascular health. They are also necessary for normal brain and eye function. If you are not getting enough in your daily diet, your body may be suffering silently.
Now that you know this, don’t wait to hear more about fish oil and heart disease. Do a little comparative shopping and buy a good supplement, today.