Study Supports Benefits of Omega-3 for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

The heart health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA may be related to their ability to reduce oxidative stress, suggests new research.

Oxygen-breathing organisms naturally produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), which play an important role in a range of functions, including cell signalling. However, over production of these ROS from smoking, pollution, sunlight, high intensity exercise, or simply ageing, may overwhelm the body’s antioxidant defences and lead to oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress has been linked to an increased risk of various diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular disease.

Previous reports had suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may actually increase levels of oxidative stress due to their susceptibility to oxidation. New findings in Free Radical Research indicate that EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) may actually reduce oxidative stress by reducing levels of a compound called F2-isoprostanes.

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