ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Pain-Relieving Powers of Acupuncture Unclear
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
Cane Use May Cut Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis
CANCER
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
CAREGIVING
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
DIET, NUTRITION
Milk Destroys Antioxidant Benefits in Blueberries
5 Reasons why you could gain weight while dieting
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Preparing for a Chlorine Gas Disaster
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
EYE CARE, VISION
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
FITNESS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Bursts of Vigorous Activity Appear to Be a 'Stress-Buffer'
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Olde Time Medicine Therapy May Prevent Alcoholic Relapse
Dr Churchill & Ashley Pelton Interview 1 of 4
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
Gene Variation Found in Boys With Delinquent Peers
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Add your Article

Omega-3, Some Omega-6 Fatty Acids Boost Cardiovascular Health

By Ed Edelson
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- High intake of the omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish and vegetable cooking oils appear to help prevent heart attacks, while the omega-6 fatty acids in vegetables and nuts help keep blood pressure low, two international research teams report.

A study in Costa Rica found that high intake of omega-3 fatty acids reduced the risk of heart attack by 59 percent, said a report published in the July 8 online issue of Circulation.

In the Costa Rican study, "we compared those subjects who had heart attacks with those who did not have heart attacks," said study author Hannia Campos, a senior lecturer in nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. They had participants fill out food questionnaires and also analyzed body fat samples to determine levels of alpha-linolenic acid, a major omega-3 fatty acid.

A number of other studies have shown that high intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. This is the first study to look at its association with heart attack risk, Campos said.

"We found that the relationship is not completely linear," she said. "It plateaued after a certain level of intake. After that, higher levels do not mean increased protection."

The protective level turned out to be surprising low -- the amount in two teaspoons of soybean oil or canola oil, half a teaspoon of flaxseed oil or six to 10 walnut halves.

That protective effect could be detected, because the people in the Costa Rican study have a low level of omega-3 fatty acids in their diet, Campos said. "Their overall intake of fish is very low, much lower than in the United States, and the fish they eat are tropical, which are not as fatty as cold-water species," she said.

The high blood pressure study, reported in the July 8 online issue of Hypertension, looked at 4,680 men and women aged 40 to 59 from China, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom. It found a significant relationship between intake of linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid found in vegetables, and lower blood pressure.

The report is the latest in a series of studies designed to describe all the factors contributing to high blood pressure, said Dr. Jeremiah Stamler, a professor of preventive medicine emeritus at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.

"For diet and serum cholesterol, most of the answers came in the 1960s," Stamler said. "The data on diet and blood pressure have come much more slowly."

Previous reports have shown that higher intake of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus are associated with lower blood pressure, Stamler said. Iron from vegetables -- but not meat -- also is associated with lower blood pressure, he said. "An array of macro- and micronutrients influence blood pressure in a variety of ways," Stamler said.

The latest study indicates that raising linoleic acid intake by 9 grams a day reduces systolic blood pressure (the higher of the 120/80 reading) by about 1.4 points, and diastolic pressure by about 1 point. That small reduction can have a large effect in a big population, the researchers said, with a 2-point reduction reducing coronary heart disease by 4 percent.

"The message of this study is to eat more fruit and more vegetables, more beans, less red meat and less fats," Stamler said. "Fats should be mainly selected to be unsaturated. Vegetable oils should be used but in moderation."

More information

A guide to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is offered by the Vegan Society.



SOURCES: Hannia Campos, Ph.D., senior lecturer, nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; Jeremiah Stamler, M.D., professor emeritus, preventive medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago; July 8, 2008, Circulation, online; July 8, 2008, Hypertension, online

Last Updated: July 07, 2008

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