Omega-3 & Artery Elasticity

A number of recent studies have shown a positive link between omega-3 and heart health. A new study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, studied a specific association between omega-3 and elasticity of large arteries in overweight hypertensive patients.*

Fifty-two overweight hypertensive patients participated in this study. Twenty-six were given fish-oil capsules, while the other 26 were given placebos.  After 8 weeks, researchers found that the large artery elasticity for those in the fish oil group, compared with the placebo group, improved significantly.

Arterial elasticity means the flexibility of your arteries. If your arteries harden (becoming less flexible), the heart has to work harder to supply the body with blood. This puts an extra strain on your heart which is the main cause of cardiovascular disease.**

Researchers concluded that fish oil supplementation (omega-3) improves large arterial elasticity in hypertensive patients.  Further studies are needed to confirm the benefits of fish oil supplementation on age-related increases in arterial stiffness.

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*Wang, S., Mal A-Q, Song S-W, Quan Q-H, Zhao X-F, Zheng X-H. “Fish oil supplementation improves large arterial elasticity in overweight hypertensive patients.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication Advance online publication 5 September 2007; doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602886. **

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