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Fish Oil Exerts Beneficial Effects on Heart Rate

Posted Apr 18 2013 10:09pm

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil enjoys a four-decade long history of scientific evidence attesting to its capacity to beneficially impact heart health.  Heart rate variability, the variation in the time interval between heartbeats, is considered to be a predictor of risk of death following heart attack.  Wei Xin, from the Chinese PLA General Hospital (China), and colleagues completed an analysis of pooled data from 15 randomized clinical trials of fish oil on heart rate variability.  The study authors report that: “Short-term fish-oil supplementation may favorably influence the frequency domain of heart rate variability, as indicated by an enhanced vagal tone, which may be an important mechanism underlying the antiarrhythmic and other clinical effects of fish oil.”

Wei Xin, Wei Wei, Xiao-Ying Li.  “Short-term effects of fish-oil supplementation on heart rate variability in humans: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.”  Am J Clin Nutr., May 2013.

  
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Tip #150 - Go Nuts
A number of studies have established a body of evidence linking nut consumption to potential beneficial effects for heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's Disease, and cancer:

Heart Disease: Researchers from Loma Linda University (California, USA) studied results of 25 nut consumption trials involving 583 men and women with normal and high cholesterol levels. Results showed that daily consumption of a small bag (67g) of nuts reduced total cholesterol by 5.1% and LDL cholesterol by 7.4%. Eating nuts was also found to reduce triglyceride levels by 10.2% in participants with blood triglyceride levels of at least 150 mg/dL, but not in those with lower levels. The benefits of nut consumption were greatest in those with high baseline LDL cholesterol levels and a low body mass index (BMI).

A team from Pennsylvania State University (Pennsylvania, USA) followed a group of 25 men and women with mildly elevated cholesterol levels, for a five-week period. One subgroup consumed an “average” American diet [33% total fat, including 11% monunsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and 5% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)] and the other subgroup ate a Macadamia nut-rich diet [33% total fat, including 18% MUFA and 5% PUFA]. In the group consuming the macadamia nut-rich diet, the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol decreased (4.60, versus 4.90 in the group following the American diet). In addition, the macadamia nut-diet group experienced a decrease in LDL (low-density, or “bad”) cholesterol (3.14 mmol/L, versus 3.44 mmol/L in the group following the American diet).

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