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Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Heart Health

The good news is that it is never too late to starting looking after your heart health. Most of us know we could eat better and we could exercise more but we are less confident on what type of supplements could help us and which are nothing more then marketing hype. Heart disease is something my family knows all too well; then again there are many family recipes that encourage adding more oil to food and frying it up; so is it really a surprise. Unfortunately supplements are not something that the older folks in the family tried, used or knew about; thankfully there is more information available these days.

There are a few supplements you can take that science agrees is better for your health and makes a difference. Probably the best known are the regular intake of DHA and EPA and also of Omega-3 fatty acids. Often we hear this, but do we know what it means? Let’s break down what these are and what they do for you and your heart health.

Basically Omega-3 fatty acids are easily found in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and also in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and fatty fish like sardines and salmon are good sources of them. Other important omega 3 fatty acids are found in dark green leafy vegetables, flaxseed oils, and certain vegetable oils.
Your body can not make these beneficial fatty acids, and so they must be obtained from either the food you eat or supplements. Omega-3’s have shown positive effects from reducing your cholesterol, and blood pressure to being anti-inflammatory and having anti-blood clotting actions.

While both men and women benefit from lowering their cholesterol, women it seems see even bigger improvements. In fact they reduce their risk of a second heart-attack by 45%. Often doctors prescribe statins to help lower your cholesterol, but they often come with many side effects; so to do it with supplements is a great choice to make.

Science has long known that when you lower your blood pressure you reduce risk of heart attack, stroke and death. Supplements can really help your efforts here, in addition to the changes in diet and exercise; helping you to extend your life.

Anti-clotting is important at every
stage of treating heart disease, it is just that important. In fact aspirin is probably the most common and well known anti-clotting drug. This is an area where it is very important to discuss with your doctor the supplements you do take. Anti-clotting medications can lead to serious complications when you are injured. A supplement in addition to medication could lead to serious injury, stroke and even death.

At the same time it is important for heart health because it can prevent both heart attacks and death in people that have had a heart attack or that have a history of heart disease.

Prescribed medication should not be stopped without medical advice and this article is for information purposes only. In addition if you are pregnant or nursing you should consult your physician before taking supplements.