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Fish a Core Component of Heart-Healthy Diet

Posted May 31 2012 10:11pm
Posted on May 31, 2012, 6 a.m. in Cardio-Vascular | Diet |
Fish a Core Component of Heart-Healthy Diet

Omega-3 fatty acids exert a variety of actions on cell physiology and function. With specific regard to cardiovascular disease, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown decrease the inflammatory processes within blood vessel walls, a condition that is considered to be a major contributor to atherosclerosis. The latest European Guidelines on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Clinical Practice recognize the importance of omega-3s, and thus  recommend that people should eat fish at least twice a week, one meal of which should be oily fish – such as salmon, herring, trout and sardines. Evidence was presented showing that the incorporation of EPA into advanced plaques was associated with a decreased expression of various matrix metalloproteinases (MMPS), proteins which have been implicated in plaque cap thinning and increased vulnerability to rupture. Omega-3 fatty acids are also known to have an anti-arrhythmic effect. The presence of omega-3 fatty acids in cardiomyocyte membrane phospholipids decreases electrical excitability and modulates the activity of ion channels (e.g. sodium, potassium and calcium, effects that are claimed to promote electrical stability in the cell and prevent arrhythmias.

Translational Science: A fish a day keeps the doctor away. EuroPRevent2012 (European Society of Cardiology), May 4, 2012. 

The latest European Guidelines on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Clinical Practice recommend that people should eat fish at least twice a week.
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A growing body of evidence supports a link between Vitamin D and optimal immune health. University School of Medicine (Japan) researchers studied 334 schoolchildren, one group of whom received daily supplements of vitamin D3 (1200 IUs) and the other group received placebo. During the course of four months, the incidence of seasonal influenza was 11% in the Vitamin D supplemented group, as compared to 19% in the placebo group.
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