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Omega-3s Do Not Improve The Heart’s Diastolic Function

April 24, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers studying the impact of omega-3 supplementation on cardiovascular health have ruled out the possibility that fish oil improves diastolic function: the ability of the heart to relax and efficiently refill with blood at each beat. Many studies over the years have established that omega-3 fatty acids help prevent cardiovascular disease and adverse cardiac events, such as heart attack and stroke. But no one has been able to explain why. In this study, eleven healthy adults (average age 66 years) took daily omega-3 supplements containing 1.9 grams EPA and 1.5 grams DHA. Over 12 weeks, however, there were no detectable improvements in diastolic function, suggesting that fish oil didn't change this important parameter of cardiac health.
Zhaohui Gao et al., "Three-Month Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Does Not Improve Cardiac Diastolic Function in Healthy Older Adults", News release, presentation at the Experimental Biology 2012 meeting, April 24, 2012, © American Physiological Society
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