Anti-Inflammatory Diet

All health care starts with diet. My recommendations for a healthy diet are here:
Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle.
There are over 190 articles on diet, inflammation and disease on this blog
(find topics using search [upper left] or index [lower right]), and
more articles by Prof. Ayers on Suite101 .

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Omega-3 and Heart Failure

A large Italian study of heart failure prevention shows that even small additions of omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish oil decreases heart failure more than statins.

The addition of one gram of fish oil omega-3 fatty acids to diets of patients after a heart attack was found (GISSI study) to reduce second attacks by 20%. A subsequent series of studies showed that the progressive degeneration of the heart muscle that results in heart failure was reversed by omega-3 fatty acids. A relatively minor supplement of omega-3 fatty acids was superior to statins in a parallel study. The improvement seen with the omega-3 supplements was in addition to other standard treatments to reduce risk and the morbidity in the Italian population was lower than would be expected in the US population.

This study used a diverse population without measures of the level of chronic inflammation in each patient. There was also no effort to determine the dose dependency -- would twice the dose have given twice the benefit? In the US, the consensus is that two grams of EPA/DHA per day is needed to see significant reduction of inflammatory symptoms within a week.

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