New information shows omega-3 fatty acid benefit for smokers

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Eating omega-3 fatty acid rich fish can help smokers prevent heart disease.
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Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids might help protect smokers from heart disease. New information shows smokers given 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids for four weeks had improvement in elasticity of the blood vessels; moderating the effect of smoking that leads to arterial stiffness.

The omega-3 treatment improved health in the blood vessel walls known as the endothelium in smokers studied.

In a Smoking is thought to harm the blood vessels and lead a heart disease through a variety of mechanisms.
According to the American Heart Association, smoking contributes to heart disease because it leads to high blood pressure, increases the tendency of the blood to clot, which can lead to heart attack and decreases our ability to exercise.

How omega-3 fatty acids promote healthy arteries

Dr. Gerasimos Siasos, University of Athens Medical School, 1st Department of Cardiology, "Hippokration" Hospital explained in a press release, "The cardioprotective effects of omega-3 fatty acids appear to be due to a synergism between multiple, intricate mechanisms involving anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic effects.

Furthermore, AHA recommends that people without documented history of coronary heart disease should consume a variety of fish (preferably oily – rich in omega-3 fatty acids) at least twice per week."

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Smoking cessation, especially for people with no other risk factors for heart disease, could be the number one lifestyle change needed to maintain healthy blood vessels throughout the body.

Dr Kathryn Taubert, Chief Science Officer at the World Heart Federation said in a press release, “We encourage all people, both smokers and non-smokers, to eat healthy diets, which includes foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.”

The new finding,presented April 20,2012 at the World Congress of Cardiology shows omega three fatty acids, known to have potent anti-inflammatory effects on the body, can help smokers keep their blood vessels healthier; potentially lowering the risk of heart disease. In the meantime speak with your Dr. about programs or medication that can help with smoking cessation, which Taubert says is encouraged for all smokers by the World Heart Federation. You can also find resources to stop smoking at 1800 Quit Now or visit smokefree.gov.

Source:
World Heart Federation
4/20/2012

Updated June 27, 2015

Resource:
American Heart Association
Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease

Image credit: Morguefile

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