Saturday, November 21, 2009

DHA to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease?

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are two omega-3 fatty acid that have been associated with cardiovascular benefit.

Low consumption of DHA can be an effective and nonpharmacological way to protect healthy individuals from platelet-related cardiovascular events

To determine the optimal dose of DHA, Lagarde and colleagues4 examined the effects of increasing doses of DHA on both platelet* reactivity and antioxidant status in 12 healthy male volunteers between ages of 53 and 65.

Platelets play an important in the maintenance of haemostasis (the arresting of bleeding while maintaining blood flow through a damaged vessel, resulting in repair). This is achieved primarily by the formation of thrombi (blood clots), when damage to the endothelium of blood vessels occurs. On the other hand, thrombus formation must be inhibited at times when there is no damage to the endothelium.

In their report appearing in the September 2009 print issue of The FASEB Journal, the French scientists show that a 200 mg dose of DHA5 per day is enough to affect biochemical markers (platelet reactivity and platelet vitamin E, p38 MAP kinase phosphorylation and urinary isoprostane levels) that reliably predict cardiovascular problems.

The best source for DHA and EPA are fatty coldwater fish such as herring, mackerel, salmon and tuna, see table below. Fish oil and algae supplements can also provide omega-3 fatty acids.

4 Nicolas Guillot, Emilie Caillet, Martine Laville, Catherine Calzada, Michel Lagarde, and Evelyne VĂ©ricel. Increasing intakes of the long-chain -3 docosahexaenoic acid: effects on platelet functions and redox status in healthy men. The FASEB Journal, 2009; 23 (9): 2909
5 Each capsule of Appeton Essentials Fish Oil contains 150mg EPA and 100mg DHA.
6 Ng, T.K.W. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Potential Sources in the Malaysian Diet with the Goal Towards Achieving Recommended Nutrient Intakes. Malaysian Journal of Nutrition, 2006; 12 (2). pp. 181-188.

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