News - Fish oil reduces blood vessel stiffness
The heart health benefits of marine omega 3 are well-known, with studies linking their consumption with improvements in blood lipid levels, a reduced tendency of blood clotting, reduced blood pressure, heart rate improvements and improved blood vessel function. Now, a new review from Australia reveals that omega 3 fatty acids also offer a ‘scientifically supported means of reducing arterial stiffness’.
According to findings published in the British Journal of Nutrition, omega 3 fatty acids were associated with an improvement in both pulse wave velocity and arterial compliance, both of which are measures of the stiffness of arteries.
Led by Matthew Pase, the reviewers conducted a meta-analysis to examine the effects of omega 3 supplementation on the stiffness of arteries. After extensively searching the literature, they found ten randomised and controlled adult human clinical trials that were suitable for inclusion. Four trials measured pulse wave velocity and six measured arterial compliance. The data from these trials was then pooled and reanalysed so the scientists could calculate the overall effects of omega 3 on arterial stiffness.
Commenting on their results, the researcher wrote that their “meta-analysis revealed that omega 3 was statistically significant in effectively improving both pulse wave velocity and arterial compliance”, adding that the “reduction in arterial stiffness by omega 3 may account for some of its purported cardioprotective effects.”
Pase, MP et al. Do long-chain n-3 fatty acids reduce arterial stiffness? A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. British Journal of Nutrition.