Omega-3s help repair arteries damaged by smoking, scientists say
DUBAI, April 23 — If you’re a smoker, a new study suggests adding more fish to your diet.
While the best way to protect yourself from the harmful effects of smoking is to quit, researchers from Greece have found that omega-3 fatty acids can help repair arteries damaged by the unhealthy habit.
Presented at the World Congress of Cardiology in Dubai Friday, scientists showed that short-term treatment with omega-3 fatty acids was able to improve arterial stiffness and moderate acute impairment of vascular elastic properties in smokers — both markers of cardiovascular risk.
For four weeks, subjects were treated orally with two grams of omega-3 fatty acids every day.
Scientists believe the cardioprotective effects come from the nutrient’s anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic effects.
Meanwhile, a slew of studies vaunt the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help with everything from nerve damage to mental fitness and fertility.
For example, a British study published last year found that omega-3 fatty acids could play a significant role in preventing and protecting nerves from injury. After simulating damage in mice by stretching the cells or starving them of oxygen, researchers then enriched the cells with omega-3 fatty acids. The result was decreased cell death and significant protection.
Another study published in February looked at the brains of 1,575 people and found that those whose level of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — a nutrient in omega-3 fatty acids — were in the bottom 25 per cent had lower brain volume compared to people with higher DHA levels.
Docosahexaenoic acid is equally important in sperm health, as a US study found that the nutrient is important in the healthy development of men’s swimmers.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in sardines, mackerel, salmon, soy beans, flaxseed oil and walnuts. — AFP/Relaxnews