Fish Oil For Heart Disease
Fish oil is used for a wide range of conditions. It is most often used for conditions related to the heart and blood system. Some people use fish oil to lower blood pressure or triglyceride levels (fats related to cholesterol). Fish oil has also been tried for preventing heart disease or stroke. The scientific evidence suggests that fish oil really does lower high triglycerides, and it also seems to help prevent heart diseaseand stroke when taken in the recommended amounts. Ironically, taking too much fish oil can actually increase the risk of stroke.
Research from AHA
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), clinical trials have shown that omega 3 is effective in reducing the incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Fish oil is a great source of omega 3 and therefore, reduces the risk of heart diseases and heart arrhythmias. It also lowers the level of bad cholesterol (LDL), and increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL). Fish oil prevents the accumulation of triglycerides and further reduces the level of excess triglycerides. Preliminary research has also shown that fish oil can be used to prevent atherosclerosis in coronary patients. Thus, fish oil is effective in preventing strokes and regular usage of fish oil can help avoid sudden cardiac death. As per the American Heart Association, these preliminary findings still need to be confirmed by further detailed research.
Brain Damage ?
researchers found fish oil consumption had a clear correlation with brain volume. Patients taking the fish oil experienced less brain shrinkage than patients not on the fish oil supplementation. This lack of shrinkage was noted in particular in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, which are both vital to memory and critical thinking.
In a separate study conducted by the Universite Laval in Canada scientists noted stroke induced brain damage was lessened by a diet rich in DHA type Omega-3 fatty acids. Testing was done in mice that were fed a diet containing DHA for three months prior to the stroke. Following the stroke these mice demonstrated a 25% reduction in brain damage compared to those that were not consuming DHA.
Researchers attributed this decrease in brain damage to the ability of DHA to reduce the inflammatory effects of arachidonic acid, a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid, and therefore recommended a diet rich in DHA or fish consumption.
Research on Mice
For this latest study, published in the journal PLoS One, researchers working with mice found that the omega-3-rich fluid reduced the number of damaged brain cells.
The results suggest that such jabs may be able to reduce some of the long-term neurological and behavioural problems seen in human survivors of neonatal stroke and possibly of adult stroke as well, according to scientists at Columbia University Medical Centre in the United States.
Omega-3 fatty acids may have more potential as neuroprotectants because they affect multiple biochemical processes in the brain that are disturbed by stroke, said the study’s senior author Dr Richard Deckelbaum.
The effects of the omega-3 fatty acids include increasing the production of natural neuroprotectants in the brain, reducing inflammation and cell death, and activating genes that may protect brain cells.
Omega-3 fatty acids also markedly reduce the release of harmful oxidants into the brain after stroke.