ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
Health Tip: Anticipating Acupuncture
Naprapathy: A Hands-On Approach to Pain Management
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
CANCER
Papaya Could Be a Cancer Fighter
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
CAREGIVING
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
DIET, NUTRITION
Caffeine May Offer Some Skin Cancer Protection
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Even in 'Last Supper,' Portion Sizes Have Grown
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Dementia Underestimated in Developing Countries
EYE CARE, VISION
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
It's a Whole New Outlook for Cataract Patients
FITNESS
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
Super Bowl Loss Can 'Kill' Some Fans
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Omega-3, Some Omega-6 Fatty Acids Boost Cardiovascular Health
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Babies Who Eat Fish Lower Eczema Risk
Combo Treatment Eases Wheezing in Babies
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Drink Away Dementia?
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
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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