More research supports omega-3, heart health connection

DENVER — Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, or PUFAs, found in seafood may reduce arterial stiffness and improve heart function in chronic heart failure, according to new research released Wednesday.

"The consumption of nearly 1 g of omega-3s per day may improve the elasticity of the arteries, especially in individuals at high risk of heart disease," PUFA Newsletter editor Joyce Nettleton said. "Measurement of arterial stiffness is a powerful predictor of future heart events and the risk of dementia and death."

Other studies showed that a high dose (4 g/day) of omega-3s is linked to improved heart function in people with severe chronic heart failure. Further, eating baked or broiled fish regularly may substantially lower the chance of heart failure in women after menopause. Choosing fattier types of fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna, may be even more favorable, according to Nettleton.

DHA, found in fattier fish, also proved beneficial when given to animals up to five hours after a stroke. "Whether similar results would be obtained in humans is the pot-of-gold question waiting for clinical evaluation," Nettleton noted.

These findings and more are summarized in the August 2011 PUFA Newsletter and Fats of Life newsletters for health professionals and consumers, respectively.

To read the complimentary PUFA Newsletter and Fats of Life newsletters, go to Fatsoflife.com.

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