Thursday, December 22, 2005

Fish oil curbs heart trouble linked to pollution

Daily supplementation with omega-3 fatty acid (fish oil)
prevents a potentially-deadly decline in heart rate variability (HRV)
associated with exposure to indoor air pollution, researchers from
the US and Canada report.

HRV measures the variability in the intervals between heartbeats, with lower variability being associated with higher risks of heart disease and death.

To monitor heart rate variability, patients wear portable heart monitors for 24 hours. Heart rate variability measures how the heart adjusts to varying levels of demand. In people with low heart rate variability, the heart doesn't make adjustments as quickly as needed.

Now, you can get your omega-3s in fish. A study like this one has to use supplements to standardize dose. (The dose in this study was 2 grams per day.) Eating fish is probably the easiest way to get a good dose from diet alone, so here's a link to a list of fish and omega-3 content. The total amount of omega-3s is given for a 3.5 oz. portion of each type of seafood.

As fish oil can thin the blood, talk to your doctor before boosting omega-3 intake significantly.

What about the toxin content of fish oil capsules? Check out this surprising finding.

Finally, a fascinating look into how fish oil may exert its beneficial effect.

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