ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Rheumatoid Arthritis Hits Women Harder
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
CANCER
U.S. Reported 25,000 Cases of HPV-Related Cancers Annually
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Tainted China Formula Caused High Rate of Kidney Stones in Kids
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
Caregiving May Lengthen Life
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
DIET, NUTRITION
Low-Fat Diet Does Little to Alter Cholesterol Levels
The Food Irradiation Story
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Controversial Chemical Lingers Longer in the Body
Most Mt. Everest Deaths Occur Near Summit During Descent
U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul
EYE CARE, VISION
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
FITNESS
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
Fall Cleanup Is a Prime Time for Accidents
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Sleep and Do Better
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Food and Water Supply Poisoned by Perchlorate
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
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Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A new review shows that the omega-3 fatty acids found in certain fish not only prevent cardiovascular disease, but may even help treat it.

"A lot of people know that omega-3 fatty acids are a good thing, but have thought of them in the area of nutritional or health foods," said study author Dr. Carl J. Lavie, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at the Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans. "They don't realize there is so much data, a lot of data from big studies, that they are not only preventive but also help in therapy for a number of conditions, such as atrial fibrillation, heart attack, atherosclerosis and heart failure."

The report in the Aug. 11 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology cites four trials with almost 40,000 participants that show benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, in treatment after heart attack and, most recently, in heart failure patients.

The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are such an old story that such studies can go unnoticed, Lavie said. "If you polled cardiologists about whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, I don't know if they would recognize how much has been done in this area," he noted.

As far back as 2002, the American Heart Association issued a scientific statement endorsing omega-3 fatty acid intake, from fish or supplements. It recommended specific amounts of omega-3 fatty acids each day for people in general, with greater intake recommended for people with heart disease.

"For the general population, it should be 500 milligrams a day," Lavie said. "If you have heart disease, it should be 800 or 1,000 milligrams a day."

Lavie includes himself in the second category, because "I have a family history of heart disease. I eat a lot of fish and take a supplement just to be sure."

It's got to be the right kind of fish, the oily species that have a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, Lavie added. "Redfish, trout, salmon," he said. "Salmon is my favorite."

Not much effort is needed for most people to achieve the recommended intake, Lavie said. "Five hundred milligrams a day is two fatty fish meals per week," he added.

But too many people eat non-oily fish such as catfish, Lavie noted. "And they have it fried, which reduces its health benefits," he added.

His review did turn up a few negative studies, including one showing no benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in people who had heart attacks. But it was a relatively small (4,000 people), short (one-year) trial, and the patients in the trial were already getting intensive drug therapy including clot-busting clopidogrel, cholesterol-lowering statins, beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, Lavie noted.

Set against that one trial are the many larger studies cited by Lavie, and epidemiological evidence showing that populations such as Asians and Alaskan Eskimos, whose diets are rich in fish oil, have a low incidence of cardiovascular disease.

The picture is not complete, the new report noted. Studies still must be done to determine the relative benefits of DHA and EPA, the long-chain fatty acids in the omega-3 family. And the American Heart Association says that Omega-3 supplements should be taken only after consulting with a doctor, because too much can cause excessive bleeding in some people.

Another study now in the recruiting stage will test omega-3 fatty acids to prevent not only cardiovascular disease but also cancer, said Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

She is a leader of the trial, which is now recruiting 10,000 men aged 60 and older and 10,000 women aged 65 and older. The researchers will test not only the effect of omega-3 fatty acids but also of vitamin D.

Both are "very promising nutrients in prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other chronic diseases," Manson said. In the five-year trial, a quarter of the participants will take both vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, a quarter will take the vitamin, a quarter will take the fatty acids and a quarter will take a placebo.

Enthusiasts shouldn't anticipate the results of the trial and start taking large doses of omega-3 fatty acids, Manson warned. "It's too early to jump on the bandwagon and take megadoses, but moderate doses seem reasonable," she said.

SOURCES: Carl J. Lavie, M.D., medical director, cardiac rehabilitation and prevention, Ochsner Clinic, New Orleans; JoAnn Manson, M.D., chief, preventive medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; Aug. 11, 2009, Journal of the American College of Cardiology