February 05, 2009
Omega 3 Fatty Acids Prevent Clogged Arteries In Mice

Mice should eat lots of cold water fish to avoid accumulation of fat in their aortas.

NEW YORK (Feb. 5, 2009) New research from Columbia University Medical Center continues to shed light on the benefits of making fish a staple of any diet.

Fish are generally rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have shown benefit in many health areas such as helping to prevent mental illness and delaying some of the disabilities associated with aging. Eating tuna, sardines, salmon and other so-called cold water fish appears to protect people against clogged arteries. Omega-3 fatty acids can also lower triglycerides, a type of fat often found in the bloodstream.

Now, a CUMC research team led by Richard J. Deckelbaum, M.D., Director of the Columbia Institute of Human Nutrition, has found that a diet rich in fish oils can prevent the accumulation of fat in the aorta, the main artery leaving the heart. The beneficial actions of fish oil that block cholesterol buildup in arteries are even found at high fat intakes.

The study was conducted in three separate populations of mice: one that was fed a balanced diet, one that was fed a diet resembling a "Western" diet high in saturated fat, and a third that was fed a high fish fat diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Researchers in Dr. Deckelbaum's laboratory, including Chuchun Liz Chang, a Ph.D. student in nutritional and metabolic biology, found that the fatty acids contained in fish oil markedly inhibit the entry of "bad," or LDL, cholesterol into arteries and, as a result, much less cholesterol collects in these vessels.

They found that this is related to the ability of those fatty acids to markedly decrease lipoprotein lipase, a molecule that traps LDL in the arterial wall. This will likely prove to be important as a new mechanism which helps explain benefits of omega-3 fatty acids on heart health.

Hey, if lab mice live longer before getting heart disease they'll be able to put in more work searching for cures for cancer.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 February 05 11:06 PM  Aging Diet Heart Studies

Michael G.R. said at February 6, 2009 9:24 AM:

Good to see more evidence pile in in favor of Omega 3.

I'm currently taking 3 x 1065 mg (EPA 400/DHA 200) of fish oil daily.

Randall Parker said at February 6, 2009 7:03 PM:

Michael G.R.,

I also happen to take 3 1000 mg fish oil capsules a day. I upped from 2 to 3 a day starting a couple of weeks ago.

ernest said at February 7, 2009 9:58 AM:

I used to take omega 3 once a day or so. After a couple of minutes or hours of taking the capsule, I get this fishy breath or aftertaste in my mouth. Could there something wrong with my upper esophageal sphincter, or is this normal? So I stopped taking the omega 3 because I just couldn't stand this slightly nauseating effect day after day, after day.

helper said at February 7, 2009 11:34 AM:

There are "anti-burp" versions of the pill. Norweigan Gold Critical EPA is one such product, although it is relatively more expensive than some other varieties.

Randall Parker said at February 7, 2009 11:42 AM:


Try taking the fish oil right before a meal so that it gets diluted by food.

Also, there are capsules that are designed not to break down until they pass out of the stomach. Also, there are less smelly kinds of capsules.

M Puckett said at February 7, 2009 12:13 PM:


Try some of the newer capsules. They are thicker and digest lower in the gut. I used to have the same issue but not anymore.

Nick G said at February 7, 2009 1:41 PM:

I take a TB of Flax seed oil. No fishy taste, more efa's. It requires a bit of conversion in the body, but that's no problem for most people.

Dan Holway said at February 7, 2009 1:57 PM:

"esophageal sphincter"

That's going to be my next band's name!

RJD said at February 7, 2009 5:51 PM:

Be careful of fish oil capsules. Fish oil can go rancid and you will not know it if you are taking the capsules unless you bight into one every once in a while. Taking rancid fish oil is worse then taking no fish oil. I take the Carlson's fish oil out of the bottle it has a nice lemon flavor and no fish burps afterwords. Another excellent source of omaga-3 is krill oil. It has some other ingredients that make it superior to regular fish oil.

John said at February 8, 2009 9:55 AM:

If you get fish taste, take the bottle you have and put it in the freezer, this will help for the bottle you are taking, then find a better quality. Make sure it says molecularly distilled to there is no mercury in them. I take the now brand and have no fish taste. $7.99 at the local vitamin store.

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