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.:: Omega-3 Alert ::.

You’re heart that omega 3 patty acids have many health benefits and for most people, they do. They’re found in fatty, cold water fish (salmon, mckarel, lake trout, herring, sardines and albacore tuna), canola, soybean, flaxseed and walnut oils, as well as dark green leafy vegetables like kale and collard greens. You can also get omega-3s from fish-oils capsules(always buy the ones with the polutants removed).

Studies have shown that daily consumption of omega-3s may dramatically reduce the incidence of sudden cardiac death. They may decrease inflammation, lower blood pressure and reduce triglycerides. Thye can help prevent excerssive blood clots from forming which, in turn, may decrease the risk of heart attack. They may also reduce depression and help prevent dementia. However, I’ve recently learned that omega-3s are a double-edged sword. The pioneering research of Alexander Leaf,MD, at Harvard Medical School has found that in some cases omega-3s could be fatal.

One of the reasons omega-3s may decrease the incidence of sudden cardiac death is thatthey stop those cardiac cells that are the most unstable from functioning. But in people who have angina (chest pain or tightness due to heart disease) or congestive heart failure because their hearts are not receiving enough blood flow, removing those cells from functioning can reduce the heart’s ability to pump blood so much that it may increase the risk of sudden cardiac death.

Avoid omega-3s if you have recurrent angina, congestive heart failure or evidence that your heart isn’t receving enough blood flow when you exercise. If you do have heart disease or have had a heart attack but don’t have angina or congestive heart failure, omega-3s are beneficial. I take three grams of fish oil every day.


Reader’s Digest, FEB 2007; PAGE 135

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