Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Fish Oil May Promote Cardiovascular Health

February 14, 2011

Including fish or fish oils in your diet may help ward off heart attacks, research suggests. Fish oil contains many different types of fatty acids, including omega-3s, which scientists have shown reduce levels of fat in the blood and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

A Michigan Technological University scientist is finding a growing body of evidence suggesting that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil protect against cardiovascular disease.

Fish oil has been shown to improve vascular function (blood flow) by decreasing triglyceride levels and the growth rate of atherosclerotic plaques, and by reducing blood pressure, says Jason R, Carter, chair of the Department of Exercise Science, Health and Physical Education at Michigan Tech. The underlying mechanisms responsible are not entirely clear, but reduction of sympathetic nerve activity (the flight/fight response) may be an important contributor. Carter suggests.

His lab is testing the influence of fish oil on neurovascular control in humans, and, although results are still pending, he’d be happy to discuss the project and the potential positive influence of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular health.

Reference: Michigan Technological University

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