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Experts say omega-3s play important role in heart health
05.04.2012Healthcare and wellness programs that encourage patients to eat more fish may have major benefits. A group of European experts recently held a discussion in which they concluded that the omega-3s in fish may help prevent the development of cardiovascular disease and support immune health and cognitive function.
The discussion took place as part of the EuroPRevent 2012 conference, which was organized by the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation. Researchers from several academic institutions participated in the meeting, which focused largely on ways to prevent heart disease.
In the panel discussion concerning fish consumption and omega-3s, Philip Calder, a researcher at the University of Southampton in the UK, said that a substantial amount of evidence has linked the nutrients to support for heart health.
Despite these findings, many in the public are unaware of the important role fish and omega-3s can play in their diet. For this reason, Calder said health professionals need to do a better job of explaining to their patients why they should consume more fish or, if they do not like fish, take omega-3 supplements.
"[Omega-3s are] anti-inflammatory and might therefore decrease the inflammatory processes within the vessel wall, which are recognized as major contributors to atherosclerosis," Calder said.
He added that consuming omega-3s in the form of seafood is likely the healthiest. However, there is a role for nutritional supplements. It may be difficult for people to get the full amount of omega-3s their bodies need through diet alone. This is particularly true for people who do not like fish. Supplements can provide a full day's supply.
Healthcare and wellness programs that counsel individuals on the benefits of eating more fish may help people support their heart health.
Categories: Health and Wellness
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