Omega 3 For Heart Health
Omega 3 for Heart Health
Protect the Heart
Omega-3 fatty acids are the third most popular supplement in the world, with most of us taking them to promote heart health. Research over decades has shown that getting enough Omega-3 in your diet can help to protect your heart by preventing disease. The heart-healthy effects of Omega-3 are provided by DHA and EPA, the two fatty acids which have the most direct benefits.
Heart and circulatory diseases cause more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK. Whilst lifestyle factors such as weight, smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise increase your risk of heart disease, getting enough Omega-3 is a preventative measure to protect against it.
Omega-3s can keep your heart healthy by lowering blood pressure, reducing blood clots and removing inflammation. They also help to slow the growth of fatty deposits and maintain a normal heart rhythm, reducing the risk of heart attack.
By taking an Omega-3 supplement and following a healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your chances of developing heart disease and so improve your chances of living a healthier life for longer.
Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular Disease describes all conditions which affect the heart or blood vessels. This includes heart attack, stroke and coronary heart disease. High intakes of Omega-3 have been shown to provide multiple benefits which work in synergy to protect the heart and cardiovascular system.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. It is becoming more of a problem in the modern world as increased stress levels, lack of exercise and poor dietary choices cause it to rise. Diets high in Omega-3 can help to lower blood pressure. One study even found Omega-3 supplementation to be as effective as statins, drugs prescribed to treat chronic high blood pressure.
Getting enough Omega-3 also helps to increase levels of HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol. This is a fatty substance found in the blood which works to get rid of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol. If we do not get rid of LDL cholesterol it can build up on the walls or arteries and cause cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and stroke, so keeping levels low is really important.
Omega-3 intake directly reduces blood triglycerides, fatty substances which have been shown to narrow arteries and contribute to blood clots. Preventing blood clots reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Studies have found that diets supplemented with Omega-3 can reduce blood triglyceride levels by as much as 30%.
Pure and Natural Omega-3
The impact of Omega-3 intake on heart health is clear. Experts even recommended eating two portions of oily fish per week to ensure adequate intake of the nutrient. However, consuming oily fish frequently exposes us to harmful contaminants such as mercury and microplastics. The same goes for supplements derived from fish, such as cod liver oil. Some have argued that the benefits of eating fish are outweighed by the damaging effects these can have on the body. Not to mention that billions of fish are killed each year for the supplement industry, a process which is depleting our oceans of their finite fish stocks.
Non-fish foods such as flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans and canola oil are also good sources of Omega-3, but these give us mostly alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) rather than DHA or EPA. Our bodies can convert this into the more useful fatty acids, but the process is slow and does not yield a high amount. In fact, it is estimated that only around 1% of the ALA we get from food is converted to the forms which are beneficial for heart health.
As we cannot synthesise these fatty acids ourselves, we must get them from our diet or supplements. With more of us choosing plant-based diets, reducing our fish intake for sustainability reasons or else eliminating it to avoid contaminants, supplementation is now the easiest and most reliable way to get enough Omega-3.
We extract our Omega-3 from microalgae grown in purified pools of water in Switzerland. This means you can get all the DHA and EPA you need to support your heart health without any of the nasties of fish oil.
- Borghi, C. and Cicero, A. (2007). Blood Pressure Modulating Properties of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA). High Blood Pressure & Cardiovascular Prevention, 14(2), pp.55-61.
- Algal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and DHA at the same dose plus eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), appear to have similar triglyceride-lowering effects,. (2007). Inpharma Weekly, &NA;(1575), p.19.
- Conquer, J. and Holub, B. (1995). Effect of supplementation with an algae source of docosahexaenoic acid on risk factors for heart disease in vegetarians. Atherosclerosis, 115, p.S45.
- Calder, P. (2017). New evidence that omega-3 fatty acids have a role in primary prevention of coronary heart disease. Journal of Public Health and Emergency, 1, pp.35-35.
- Omega-3 fatty acids improve recovery after heart attack. (2016). Clinical Pharmacist.