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Five Reasons to Get Your 3s

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Five Reasons to Get Your 3s

Medical and nutritional researchers from around the world continue to discover the seemingly endless health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.

Medical and nutritional researchers from around the world continue to discover the seemingly endless health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.

Here are just five reasons medical scientists recommend you include omega-3 fatty acids in your daily diet:

1. Prevent heart attacks

Omega-3 fatty acids can reverse and repair the damage caused by heart disease. Improved cholesterol and triglyceride profiles are a benefit of daily omega-3 fatty acid intake.

A team of medical researchers in Finland conducted a five-year follow-up study to determine the effect of omega-3 fatty acid intake on men and women with established coronary artery disease (CAD). Their results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (July 2003).

The researchers determined that “high proportions of omega-3 fatty acids in serum [blood] lipids [fats] are associated with a substantially reduced risk of death in those with CAD.”

2. Keep the beat

A study published in the journal Europace (July 2005) is most encouraging for people living with arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). Danish researchers concluded that omega-3 fatty acids protect heart patients with arrhythmia against sudden death. They found that arrhythmia patients with higher levels of omega 3-fatty acids in their blood suffered fewer heartbeat irregularities and sudden deaths than patients with lower levels.

3. Open our hearts

At Stanford University in California, researchers concluded that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation improved vasodilation (opening of blood vessels) in the hearts of heart transplant recipients. In India, heart researchers credited omega-3 fatty acids with “rapid protective effects in patients” who’d had a life-threatening heart attack.

4. Feed our brains

The brain is our fattiest organ–and that’s just the way we want to keep it, says Dr. J.M. Bourre, a researcher from the French Academy of Medicine in Paris.

One of Dr. Bourre’s articles, published in the Journal of Nutritional Health and Aging (2004), stated that “omega-3 fatty acids are certainly involved in the prevention of dementia, notably Alzheimer’s disease.” A deficiency can “prevent the renewal of cerebral membranes and lead to accelerated brain aging.”

5. Brighten our outlook

An article published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (June 2005) reports that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from omega-3 fish oils led to a 50 percent reduction in depressive symptoms in bipolar patients. The researchers suggested that EPA offers protection against depression because of its ability to modulate neurotransmitter metabolism and cell signaling. The lead researcher was especially happy with the possibility of a safe, natural antidepressant with no dangerous side effects.

In the journal Current Psychiatry Reports, Stanford University School of Medicine depression researcher Dr. Regina Casper reported that “omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA, may improve symptoms of major depressive disorder.”

There remains a great deal that research scientists simply do not yet know about the causes and treatment of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. But one thing is certain: omega-3 fatty acids have ample research to show they can help.

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