What Does Omega-3 Mean for Your Heart?

Two fatty acids DHA and EPA are compositions of red blood cells indicating health and nutritional status. DHA & EPA are associated with cardioprotective effects so their levels in your blood are correlated with the incidence of cardiovascular events.

 

In short, higher DHA+EPA levels link to the protective coronary heart disease (CHD) biomarkers while lower DHA+EPA levels associate with cardiovascular risk factors. Out of all cardiovascular diseases (CVD) affecting your heart and blood vessels, CHD is specifically related to the operation of your heart, which can cause heart attacks, stroke, congenital heart defects, or peripheral artery disease. 

 

DO YOU KNOW:

  • CVDs are the number 1 cause of death globally, including in the United States (WHO, CDC).
  • About 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year, equal to 1 in every 4 deaths (CDC).
  • 43% of Canadian adults have Omega-3 Index levels associated with high risk of CHD. Fewer than 3% have this number associated with low risk for CHD and 10% of which are supplement users (Statcan).

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

In a nutshell, more than 4 in 10 adults (20-79 years old) are highly exposed to the risks of having heart diseases. 

 

DHA+EPA CAN HELP BY:

  • Reducing blood triglyceride levels (a type of blood fat)
  • Preventing your blood from sticking and clotting
  • Reducing the risk of developing abnormal heart rhythms

 

WHAT SHOULD WE DO:

  • Have fish in a healthy and balanced diet. The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends adults consume at least two servings of fish a week as part of a healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly (around 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activities).
  • Monitor risk factors including high blood pressure, diabetes, and high blood cholesterol.
  • Limit alcohol consumption and reduce stress.
  • For those who can’t get enough fish in their diet, taking omega-3 supplements is necessary.

 

Reference:

Statistics Canada

Global News

US National Center for Chronic Disease

World Health Organization

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