We love omega-3 here at Vivo Life. For us, it’s the foundation of nutritional wellness because of the amazing health benefits it holds, and the huge ways in which a deficiency can negatively impact us. Supplementing a healthy diet with omega-3 has a positive impact on the whole body, but today we’re looking specifically at the impact it has on our hearts.
Heart attacks and strokes are the world’s leading causes of death according to the World Health Organization. By looking after our heart health, we can help to reduce certain factors which may put us at risk. In fact, omega-3 is particularly well known for its impact on heart health - but what does it actually do to help keep our hearts in peak condition? Let’s find out!
How is omega-3 good for my heart?
Our vascular system is incredibly complex, and there are many things we can do to help keep it healthy and reduce the risk of developing heart disease. One of the best things that we can do for our heart health is ensure that we are getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in our diet.
As omega-3 cannot be produced by the body, it has to be obtained from our diet or via supplementation to ensure that we are getting all the benefits we can. Here are just 6 of the ways that omega-3 can help keep our hearts healthy.
Reducing Triglyceride levels: Triglycerides are a type of fat found in our blood. When we eat calories we don’t need, they are converted into Triglycerides and stored in our fat cells to be used for later. Having too many Triglycerides in your blood has been shown to increase your risk of heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce the levels of these fats in your blood by up to 30%. (Shidfar et al., 2008)
Lowering blood pressure: Omega-3s have been shown to lower blood pressure levels in people with high blood pressure, or who are at risk by being overweight. (Ramel et al., 2010)
Lowering LDL Cholesterol: LDL stands for Low Density Lipoprotein and it is understood that large quantities of this type of cholesterol is responsible for the majority of inflammatory processes and plaque formation which can damage our hearts. This is not seen in everyone, however, and more research is thought to be needed in this area. (Oelrich, Dewell and Gardner, 2013)
Raising HDL Cholesterol: HDL, or High Density Lipoprotein, is a form of cholesterol which is beneficial for the body. Studies have shown that an omega-3 supplement (in conjunction with exercise) can help to raise levels of HDL. (Warner et al., 1989).
Reduction in blood clotting: When our blood platelets clump together, they can cause blood clots, which can make their way to our hearts and brain, and prevent optimal blood flow. In certain cases, blood clotting can be metered with medication, but sometimes they are unfortunately fatal. Taking an omega-3 supplement can prevent our blood from forming clots in our bodies (Marchioli et al., 2002).
Reduction in plaque: No, we’re not suddenly talking about our teeth, we’re talking about the plaque that can build and harden in our arteries, causing restricted blood flow to and from the heart. Our vascular system is lined with endothelial cells, which play many crucial roles in ensuring that our blood and the systems it travels in remain healthy. However, there are various ways in which these cells can become damaged, such as through smoking or unmanaged diabetes, which affects their ability to keep our arteries clear. Omega-3 fatty acids can have a positive impact on our endothelial function, which helps to keep the insides of our arteries smooth and undamaged, reducing the likelihood of plaque building up. (Rajendran et al., 2013).
Improving these factors, along with a healthy balanced diet and continued exercise, can help to reduce the risk factors associated with heart disease and stroke. By taking an omega-3 supplement every day, you are ensuring that you maintain good levels of this vital fatty acid in your system. Vivo Life’s vegan liquid omega-3 supplement not only contains functional doses of plant-based omega-3, it is third party tested to ensure that it is purer and cleaner than fish oil supplements.
Of course, if you are worried about any of the conditions mentioned here, or think you might be at risk, then please do consult with a healthcare professional who will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
Ramel, A., Martinez, J.A., Kiely, M., Bandarra, N.M. and Thorsdottir, I. (2010). Moderate consumption of fatty fish reduces diastolic blood pressure in overweight and obese European young adults during energy restriction. Nutrition, 26(2), pp.168–174. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2009.04.002.
Shidfar, F., Keshavarz, A., Hosseyni, S., Ameri, A. and Yarahmadi, S. (2008). Effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplements on serum lipids, apolipoproteins and malondialdehyde in type 2 diabetes patients. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal = La Revue De Sante De La Mediterranee Orientale = Al-Majallah Al-Sihhiyah Li-Sharq Al-Mutawassit, [online] 14(2), pp.305–313.
Warner, J.G., Ullrich, I.H., Albrink, M.J. and Yeater, R.A. (1989). Combined effects of aerobic exercise and omega-3 fatty acids in hyperlipidemic persons. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, [online] 21(5), pp.498–505.
Marchioli, R., Barzi, F., Bomba, E., Chieffo, C., Di Gregorio, D., Di Mascio, R., Franzosi, M.G., Geraci, E., Levantesi, G., Maggioni, A.P., Mantini, L., Marfisi, R.M., Mastrogiuseppe, G., Mininni, N., Nicolosi, G.L., Santini, M., Schweiger, C., Tavazzi, L., Tognoni, G. and Tucci, C. (2002). Early Protection Against Sudden Death by n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids After Myocardial Infarction. Circulation, 105(16), pp.1897–1903. doi:10.1161/01.cir.0000014682.14181.f2.
Oelrich, B., Dewell, A. and Gardner, C.D. (2013). Effect of fish oil supplementation on serum triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and LDL subfractions in hypertriglyceridemic adults. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, 23(4), pp.350–357. doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2011.06.003.
Rajendran, P., Rengarajan, T., Thangavel, J., Nishigaki, Y., Sakthisekaran, D., Sethi, G. and Nishigaki, I. (2013). The Vascular Endothelium and Human Diseases. International Journal of Biological Sciences, [online] 9(10), pp.1057–1069. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7502.