Cardiovascular Disease
and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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If there are terms in these articles you don't understand, you can get a definition from the Merriam Webster Medical Dictionary.   If you want information about a specific disease, you can access the Merck Manual.   You can also search Pub Med for more abstracts on this, or any other health topic.


An Improvement of Cardiovascular Risk Factors by Omega-3
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

J Clin Med Res. 2018 (Apr); 10 (4): 281–289 ~ FULL TEXT

An epidemiological survey in the Northwest Greenland reported that the Greenlanders have a lower frequency of acute myocardial infarction and diabetes mellitus. The very low incidence of ischemic heart disease in the Greenlanders was explained by consumption of a diet rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Possible anti-atherothrombotic effects of omega-3 PUFA include an improvement of lipid metabolism such as a reduction of triglyceride and an increase of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), and glucose metabolism, anti-platelet activity, anti-inflammatory effects, an improvement of endothelial function and stabilization of atherosclerotic plaque. The present study reviews an improvement of cardiovascular risk factors such as dyslipidemia and diabetes due to consumption of omega-3 PUFA. A sufficient number of studies suggest that omega-3 PUFA supplementation reduces serum triglyceride and increases HDL-cholesterol.

Fish Oil Reduces Atherosclerotic Blockages
Evidence that a diet rich in fish reduces the incidence of heart disease [1,2] is so strong and the news so widespread that people are taking it for granted. Despite the promising evidence of this preventive effect, however, remarkably few human studies prove encapsulated fish oil is more effective than placebo as a heart disease treatment. The few studies were relatively small and had mixed results—some showing benefit, others not. [3-6]

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) - Monograph
Alternative Medicine Review 2009 (Dec); 14 (4): 391–399 ~ FULL TEXT

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid that falls into the larger category of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Although many chronic conditions are associated with excessive intake of dietary saturated and trans fatty acids (including obesity, insulin resistance, coronary heart disease, and some forms of cancer), research shows omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA, are essential in the prevention and treatment of numerous diseases. DHA has been shown to be particularly important for fetal brain development, optimal development of motor skills and visual acuity in infants, lipid metabolism in children and adults, and cognitive support in the elderly. In vitro and animal studies also suggest a beneficial role for DHA in certain types of cancer.

CRN Issues White Paper on the Importance of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for
Heart Health — Evidence is Strongest for EPA and DHA

Council for Responsible Nutrition July 20, 2005

The Council for Responsible Nutrition’s (CRN) Omega-3 Working Group (O3WG) today released a white paper highlighting the importance of omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), for heart health.

Fish Oil Monograph
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Aug); 5 (6): 576–580 ~ FULL TEXT

Many well-recognized problems are associated with excessive intake of dietary fat, including obesity, insulin resistance, coronary heart disease, and some forms of cancer. While intakes of saturated, trans, and arachidonic fatty acids have been linked to the development of chronic disease, research shows omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids, specifically fish oils, are essential in the prevention and treatment of disease.

Effects of Essential Fatty Acid Administration on Cardiovascular
Responses to Stress in the Rat

Lipids 1986 (Feb); 21 (2): 139–142

These data suggest that 18:3(n-6) supplementation attenuates cardiovascular responses to chronic stress, and that delta 6- and delta 5-desaturase activity are inhibited during chronic psychological stress.


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