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Queens Chronicle

Looking for a healthy heart this Valentine’s Day?

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Posted: Thursday, January 21, 2010 12:00 am

A detailed review of research dating back almost 30 years has been published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reinforcing the overwhelming benefits of Omega-3 consumption for primary and secondary heart health, suggesting that it could reduce the risk of cardiovascular related death by up to 30 percent.

The most significant findings were taken from four controlled randomized trials involving almost 40,000 patients who were receiving EPA with and without DHA for primary prevention, after a heart attack and heart failure.

Dr. Carl Lavie, from the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans who led this latest review says, “We now have tremendous and compelling evidence from very large studies that demonstrate the protective benefits of Omega-3 fish oil in multiple aspects of preventative cardiology.”

“The strongest evidence of a cardio protective effect of omega-3’s appears in patients with established cardiovascular disease and following a heart attack, with up to 30 percent reduction in cardiovascular related-death. And we are talking about a very safe and relatively inexpensive therapy,” Lavie said

It has been recommended that for those who have existing heart problems or who have suffered a heart attack, between 800 mg and 1000 mg of Omega-3 (EPA+DHA) be consumed daily; this is the equivalent to a 3-4 ounce portion of oily fish a week. For healthy people, the daily recommendation is 500mg of Omega-3 , the equivalent to a 1-2 ounce portion of oily fish a week.

Omega-3 is not produced naturally by the body, therefore, can only be obtained through diet. Oily fish such as salmon, sardines and herring contains the richest source Omega-3 and is the best food source for levels of Omega-3. However, as many people do not like the taste or even the cooking of oily fish, taking a cod liver oil supplement which is naturally rich in Omega-3, such as those from Seven Seas is an excellent alternative.

So daily Omega-3 consumption coupled with a healthy diet and lifestyle could not only reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, it could help you live longer which has to be the best gift you could give this Valentine’s Day.

There are many steps we can take to help maintain a healthy heart. Simple changes to your lifestyle can make a difference:

Stub out smoking — Each year, smoking accounts for approximately 20 percent of all heart disease death. Kicking the habit can be one of the most important decisions you make to help protect the health of your heart.

Get active — Exercise helps lower blood sugar and blood pressure, makes arteries more flexible, helps with weight control all of which can reduce your chance of developing cardiovascular disease by up to 50 percent.

You are what you eat — An unhealthy diet is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Studies into eating habits have shown that a few simple adjustments can help you eat your way to heart health.

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