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Omega-3 Compounds Promote Blood Vessel Health

Posted May 24 2013 10:08pm

In that increased arterial stiffness is associated with enhanced risk of cardiovascular disease in obese individuals, Gerald F. Watts, from the University of Western Australia (Australia), and colleagues investigated whether omega-3 supplementation improves the condition.  The researchers enrolled 25 obese men and women in a study in which the subjects were assigned to a 25% energy deficit weight loss diet, with 13 participants also receiving an omega-3 supplement (providing 46% EPA and 38% DHA).  After 12 weeks, the team observed significant changes in to large (+20%) and small (+22%) artery elasticity; as well as systolic (−8%) and diastolic (−5%) blood pressures, pulse pressure (−5%), heart rate (−8%), plasma triglyceride concentration (−36%), and insulin resistance (−12%) plasma HDL cholesterol (+6%) and adiponectin concentrations (+28%).  The study authors write that: “Supplementation with [omega-3 fatty acid ethyl ester] improves [large and small artery elasticity] independently of weight loss in obese adults.”

Annette T. Y. Wong, Dick C. Chan, P. Hugh R. Barrett, Leon A. Adams, Gerald F. Watts.  “Supplementation with n3 Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters Increases Large and Small Artery Elasticity in Obese Adults on a Weight Loss Diet.”  J. Nutr.,  April 2013; 143: 437-441.

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Tip #167 - Snooze, Don’t Lose
Too little sleep compromises many of the body’s biological processes, most notably the immune system, metabolic function, and cognitive performance (specifically, learning and memory). Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Massachusetts, USA) reported that sleep is important for the development of episodic memories, and particularly those of an emotional nature. The team studied 88 college students, and found that those subjects who slept a full evening remembered the emotional scene they were shown in far greater detail, as compared to those participants who stayed awake for 12 hours after viewing the scene.

Defying the adage that ‘you snooze, you lose,’ sleep is a vital process that helps to preserve memories. Don’t underestimate the restorative role of sleep: while the amount of sleep required is highly individualized, it is critical to get sleep of a sufficient duration that is followed by a spontaneous awakening and leaves you feeling refreshed and alert for the day.

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