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protect your heart with omega-3!
Healthy fats that are good for you
More and more doctors are recommending omega-3 (healthy fats) from fish, fish oil and flaxseed oil. Due to new guidelines from American Heart Association (AHA): healthy people should eat omega-3 fatty acids from marine and plant sources to protect their hearts.
The long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids are necessary (essential) fats. This means that they are essential to human health but cannot be synthesized by the body, and must be obtained from food. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are derived from linolenic, linoleic, and oleic acids. α-linolenic acid (ALA) as well as the fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), belongs to a group of fatty acids called omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-6 is derived from linoleic acid.
EPA and DHA are found primarily in fish while ALA is highly concentrated in certain plant oils such as flaxseed oil and to a lesser extent, canola, soy, and walnut oils. Once ingested, the body converts ALA to EPA and DHA, the two types of omega-3 fatty acids more readily used by the body. The extent of this modification is modest and controversial, however. On the other hand, fish oils are believed to contain much more DHA, so many people take fish oil instead of flaxseed oil.
Eating fish is helpful. AHA recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times a week. Fatty fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are high in EPA and DHA. AHA also recommends eating tofu and other forms of soybeans, walnut and flaxseed, olive, and their oils.
EFAs support the cardiovascular, immune, and nervous systems. The human body needs EFAs to manufacture and repair their cell membranes. They are precursors to prostaglandins, which regulate heart rate, blood pressure, blood clotting, fertility and play a role in immune function by regulating inflammation. Scientists now believe that these healthy fats are beneficial to the brain development of a healthy baby while in the womb. Meanwhile, fish oil has been found in some studies to greatly support pregnancy and healthy baby development.
It is important to maintain an appropriate balance of omega-3 and omega-6 in the diet as these two substances work together to promote health.
EFA deficiency and omega- 6/3 imbalance is associated with serious health conditions, such as heart attacks, arthritis, Alzheimer s disease, stroke, cancer, depression, accelerated aging, obesity, among others.
The primary risk factor in heart and coronary diseases is the high level of serum lipids (the serum cholesterol and triglyceride level is high, and the high density lipoprotein and low density lipoprotein ratio - HDL/LDL - is low).
Large-scale epidemiologic studies suggest that people at risk for coronary heart disease benefit from consuming omega-3 fatty acids from plants and marine sources. Evidence from several studies has suggested that amounts of EPA and DHA in the form of fish or fish oil supplements lowers triglycerides, slows the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques, lowers blood pressure slightly, as well as reduces the risk of death, heart attack (more women suffer from heart attacks than they do from breast cancer), dangerous abnormal heart rhythms, and strokes with known heart disease. However, high doses may have harmful effects, such as an increased risk of bleeding.
Since a large portion of the brain is made up of fats, omega-3 fish oil may also be good for our brain and mood and are important to mental health (alleviates many types of depression).
Pharmaceutical grade purified fish oil supplements may be a better choice than eating a lot of fish which may contain mercury or contaminants. Daily supplement capsules, in spite of their fishy aftertaste, are a quick and easy way to get extra omega-3.
Epasel capsule, a natural product, provides a safe, effective, well-tolerated approach to prevent the development of myocardial infarction in case of the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The product is a combined preparation, containing fish oil enriched with EPA and DHA as well as organic selenium incorporated in the yeast carrier.
Its active constituents reduce the risk factors of the coronary artery diseases and their advantageous effects are jointly exerted. With special microorganisms selenium is absorbed more easily and its beneficial effect come through faster, than inorganic selenium. The selenium is an essential trace element in man and plays a key role in the maintenance of the elasticity of wessel wall.