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Heart Watch Blog: Fish Oil Combats Heart Problem Related To Pollution

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Dec 23, 2005

Fish Oil Combats Heart Problem Related To Pollution

Fish Oil Combats Heart Problem Related To Pollution
You probably can't do much to improve the air pollution around you, but now you can protect yourself from some of the harmful effects of air pollution on the heart. A new research finding suggests that 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

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

"Imagine," explained Dr. Fernando Holguin, "that a normal heart does not always have the same time intervals between beats, but every so often (in cycles) the interval between cardiac beats changes; i.e. a little shorter, or longer. How frequent these variations occur are a measure of the effect of the nervous regulation of the heart. It is a fine-tuning that we are not aware of. A sick heart losses this fine tuning."

In the elderly, exposure to fine particulate matter, a common air pollutant, has been associated with reductions in HRV. But in their study of 50 relatively healthy elderly nursing home residents, Holguin and colleagues found that a daily two-gram fish oil supplement prevented a decline in HRV.

Holguin, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and colleagues report their finding in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Daniel      



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Heart disease
About 13 million Americans (about 7 percent of the total population) suffer from coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in American men and women amounting a staggering 20 percent of all causes of death. About half of all deaths related to cardiovascular diseases occur from coronary artery disease. Through this heart watch blog we will have our humble contribution towards making men and women aware of the risks of heart diseases.

Heart Watch Blog: Fish Oil Combats Heart Problem Related To Pollution

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