Omega-3 Fatty Acids Linked to Lower Inflammation, Lower Cardiac Risk
Effect on Inflammatory Markers
Increased blood levels of omega 3 fatty acids are associated with lower levels of markers of systemic inflammation and heart disease, says a new study. Levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) decreased as levels of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), increased.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been extensively studied for their potential anti-inflammatory benefits. Previous studies have shown increasing blood levels of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA were associated with reduced levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009, vol. 63, pp. 1154 – 1156). C-reactive protein (CRP) is an important marker of systemic inflammation. A simple blood test can check these levels. Elevated levels of C-reactive protein have been reported to increase the risk of coronary heart disease (New England Journal of Medicine, 2004, vol. 351, pp2599-2610). Omega-3 fatty acids lower C-reactive protein, which shows it has beneficial effects on systemic inflammation, and therefore on cardiac risk The mechanism of the omega-3 fatty acids anti-inflammatory effects is linked to its ability to inhibit arachidonic acid metabolism to more inflammatory products.
This recent study from the University of Eastern Finland analyzed the blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, C-reactive protein, and Mercury levels in the hair of Finnish men aged 42 through 60. The results showed that as omega-3 levels increased, C-reactive protein levels decreased. Increasing mercury levels, presumably from increased fish consumption showed no correlation with C reactive protein levels.
This new study gives added evidence of the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids. This important substance is found in oily fish. It can be difficult to obtain sufficient levels of omega-3 fatty acids from fish consumption alone without running the risk of increased mercury intake. However multiple research studies demonstrate the beneficial effect of omega-3 fatty acids. It has a substantial effect on inflammatory markers. Ultimately most diseases and deterioration of our bodies are in some way related to systemic inflammation. Therefore we continue to recommend intake of Omega- 3 fatty acids as a supplement for general health, disease prevention and a proper anti-aging program.