Omega-3s and vitamin K protect the heart
Omega-3s lower blood fats and inflammation, and omega-3s and vitamin K2
protect from heart disease, in several new studies.
Reprinted from Healthway happenings Nov. 2009
Issues For Life Topic Page
In a new state-of-the-art paper on omega-3, Dr. Carl J. Lavie reviewed the major heart disease studies from the last 30 years. Based on the findings, Dr. Lavie recommends that the target amount of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) be 500 mg per day for everyone without heart disease and at least 800 mg to 1,000 mg per day for those with heart disease. "We have tremendous and compelling evidence from very large studies...that demonstrate the protective benefits of omega-3 fish oil in multiple aspects of preventive cardiology," Dr. Lavie said, adding that omega-3s cut the chances of dying from cardiovascular causes by up to 30 percent in those who have cardiovascular disease or who have had a heart attack.
Doctors in a DHA study said that high blood fat (triglyceride) levels increase inflammation, raising the chances of heart disease, and wanted to see if DHA could lower signs of inflammation. Researchers gave 3,000 mg of DHA per day, or a placebo, to 34 men aged 39 to 66 who had high triglycerides. While there was no change for placebo, after 45 days, signs of acute inflammation - circulating white blood cells called neutrophils - had decreased 12 percent in the omega-3 group. At 90 days, two other signs of inflammation - C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 - had decreased respectively 15 percent and 23 percent.
Researchers in a vitamin K2 study explained that recent research show vitamin K protects the heart and vascular system, and wanted to see if vitamin K would lower chances of heart disease. Doctors measured the diets of over 16,000 postmenopausal women, aged 49 to 70, who did not have cardiovascular disease. After eight years, scientists found that the chances of coronary heart disease decreased 9 percent for every 10 mcg of vitamin K-2 in the diet.
Reference: Journal of the American College of Cardiology; 2009, Vol. 54, No. 7, 585-94