Omega-3 Fats Improve Composition of Blood Even in Those in Normal
Bruce Brightman - founder, LifeSource Vitamins
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes more deaths in Americans than any other
disease (1), accounting for more than one-third (35.3%) of all U.S. deaths.
CVD is expected to cost our healthcare system more than $475 billion in
2009 (2). Omega-3 fatty acids are perhaps the most recommended supplement to help
maintain heart health. They are so important that the American Heart
Association recommends 500 mg of omega-3 fats per day for those without
diagnosed heart disease (3) and 1,000 mg per day for those with diagnosed
heart disease (4).
Now a new study (5) has found even in patients with normal lipid levels,
omega-3 fatty acids can help improve the quality and structure of those
lipids. In the study, 74 men and women between the ages of 19 and 43 with
normal lipid levels were given either 4.4 grams per day of Alpha Linoleic
Acid (the plant form of omega-3), 2.2 grams per day of EPA (a fat from fish
oil) or 2.3 grams per day of DHA (another fat from fish oil) for six weeks.
The researchers took blood samples before and after the study to not only
measure cholesterol levels, but also to examine the structure of the
cholesterol with respect to omega-3 fat levels.
At the end of six weeks, patients in all three groups had "a significant
enrichment" of omega-3 fatty acid content of their LDL cholesterol.
Specifically, in the ALA group, EPA levels in the LDL cholesterol increased
by 36% (no changes were seen in the DHA group). In the EPA group, DHA
levels increased by 24%, while in the DHA group there was a 249% increase
in EPA levels in the LDL cholesterol. While there were no significant
changes in total and LDL cholesterol levels, there were "significant"
decreases in levels of a lipid called triacylglycerol. In the EPA group,
the decrease was 0.14 millimoles/Liter (a 15.1% decrease), in the DHA
group, the decrease was 0.30 mmol/L (a 30.6% decrease), and in the ALA
group, the decrease was 0.17 mmol/L (a 16.8% decrease). Finally, those in
the DHA group saw a significant increase in HDL cholesterol (1.60 to 1.81
mmol/L - a 12% increase), with no changes seen in the EPA or ALA group.
For the researchers, "the present data support the hypothesis that isolated
dietary ALA, EPA, and DHA intakes lead to differential enrichment in LDL
due to interconversion" and that "Moderate amounts of ALA, EPA, and DHA are
effective in improving lipid profiles patients with normal lipid levels."
See All LifeSource Vitamins Omega 3 / Fish Oil Products, Articles and,
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