Omega-3 Holds New Benefits for the Heart
ENGLAND--Omega-3 fatty acid, a polyunsaturated fat found in fish oil, has proven to benefit cardiovascular health over the years. In a recent study, fish oil supplements were shown to help with artery dilation in people with high cholesterol. Artery dilation depends on the proper functioning of the endothelium, which is the artery wall lining. High cholesterol may affect the endothelium, leading to constriction in the coronary arteries and a reduction of blood flow.
In a study of 30 subjects with high cholesterol, patients took either a fish oil supplement or a placebo. At the end of four months, endothelial function had improved. It was shown that artery dilation more than doubled in the group taking the fish oil supplements. However, overall cholesterol levels remained the same.
Although this study may be "promising," the American Heart Association (AHA) will not endorse fish oil pills to treat high cholesterol.