Eating fatty fish (cod, tuna, salmon), and/or taking fish oil
supplements reduce the risk of developing an arrhythmia according
to two new studies. Electrical signals control the proper heart
rhythm. If the electrical signal is disrupted you develop an
arrhythmia. Severe types of arrhythmias can cause a heart attack,
a stroke or sudden cardiac death. In the first study of 65 patients
with arrhythmias, one gram of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil
capsules or placebo was supplemented for 6 months. They were
monitored for an additional six-month period. The four types of
arrhythmias monitored all decreased in the fish oil supplemented
patients. The arrhythmias were fewer and milder. Atrial premature
complexes decreased by 46.9%, ventricular premature complexes
decreased by 67.8%, couplets decreased 71.8%, and triplets decreased
100%. Six months after stopping the fish oil capsules the improvements
were reversed and all EKGs were back similar to the beginning of the
study. Placebo had no effect on arrhythmias. In the second study
4,815 people over the age of 65 were monitored for atrial fibrillation.
They were followed for an average of 12 years with EKGs and annual
physicals. Eating fish one to three times per month decreased the
risk of atrial fibrillation by 24% compared to non-fish eaters.
Eating fish one to four times a week decreased the risk by 30%,
and five or more servings per week decreased risk by 35%. Eating
fried fish and low quality fish sandwiches actually increased the
risk. The studies are published in the July 19th issue of
Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association,
and the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, and Essential Fatty
Acids, September 2004.
Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.
There is a library of evidence proving that eating fatty fish or
supplementing with fish oil capsules can reduce the risk of a heart
attack (by 50% in one study), or decrease the risk of suffering
sudden-heart related death. Fish oils reduce the rate of hardening
of the arteries. Fish oils help lower elevated fibrinogen and
triglyceride levels that can cause a dangerous blood clot. They
help prevent suffering a second heart attack or stroke or dying of
one, and offer numerous other cardiovascular benefits. Recent
studies show that fish oils decrease pressure on the heart and
blood vessels and help normalize blood pressure. When we discuss
fish oils we are referring to the omega-3 fatty acid content of the
skin of coldwater fatty fish supplying EPA and DHA, we are not
referring to Cod Liver oil, which is a source of preformed vitamin
A (which can often be dangerous) and vitamin D (which is amazingly
protective). Other nutrients for arrhythmias include Magnesium,
Taurine, GliSODin, L-Carnitine, Coenzyme Q10, Astragalus, and if
congestive heart failure or high blood pressure is involved - Hawthorn
Resveratrol Inhibits the HIV-1 Virus
Researchers at the Institute of Human Virology at the University
of Maryland have previously reported that the nutrient Resveratrol
has potent synergistic inhibitory activity against the AIDS virus,
HIV-1. When added to didanosine, a drug that helps prevent the
spread of the AIDS virus to uninfected cells, Resveratrol greatly
improved the ability of the drug to block worsening infection. The
two isomers that Resveratrol changes into in the blood stream lacked
this effect. The study is published in the October 2004 issue of
the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.PH.
Many plant constituents referred to as phytochemicals are transformed
into a number of different structures by normal digestion, metabolism,
and enzymatic activity. An example of this is the wonderfully
protective Indole-3-Carbinol found in cabbage vegetables.
Indole-3-Carbinol itself has direct activity and many of the
structural analogs it is transformed into during digestion and by
the liver also have activity. This is why I stand firm in insisting
people try the original plant ingredient and not just one of its
metabolites - otherwise they miss out on a great deal of protective
activity. Indole-3-Carbinol has myriad health benefits, by choosing
to just take DIM, one of its metabolites you will miss out on many
of its protective activities.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease.
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