ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
For All Their Plusses, Pets Pose a Risk for Falls, Too
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
CANCER
Scams and Shams That Prey on Cancer Patients
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
CAREGIVING
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
Caregiving May Lengthen Life
Tainted China Formula Caused High Rate of Kidney Stones in Kids
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
DIABETES
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
Think You Are Lead-Free? Check Your Soil
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
FITNESS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Higher Fitness Levels Tied to Lower Heart, Death Risks
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Sleep and Do Better
Stressed and Exhausted: An Introduction to Adrenal Fatigue
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
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
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Babies Cared For In Others Homes Might Become Heavy Toddlers
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
Babies Who Eat Fish Lower Eczema Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
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Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart

Scientists think they have uncovered at least one of the reasons why omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart.

The more omega-3 that patients with coronary heart disease consumed, the slower their telomeres shrank. Telomeres are structures at the end of a chromosome that get shorter the more times a cell divides, making them a marker of biological age.

"We're certainly not saying that this is the reason for all the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, but it is a new pathway linking omega-3 fatty acids to biological aging in these patients," said study lead author Dr. Ramin Farzaneh-Far, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

The findings are published in the Jan. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"What they're really saying is that there is quite an impact of omega-3s on cell support and cell functioning," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association. "If you supplement with omega-3s or eat omega-3s, your cells stay healthier, your cells age less quickly."

Said Farzaneh-Far: "Cardiologists have known for about 20 years that increased dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for patients with coronary artery disease, particularly those who have had a prior heart attack. It reduces the risk of subsequent heart attacks and death."

But the reasons for that benefit have not been well defined, said John Bowman, an associate professor of pharmacy practice at Texas A&M Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy. "We don't know the exact cellular mechanisms," he said.

Omega-3 fatty acids are plentiful in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna, according to the American Heart Association.

For the new study, the researchers followed about 600 patients in the San Francisco Bay Area with coronary artery disease. Blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and telomere length were measured at the beginning of the study and again about five years later.

"That allowed us to measure the change in telomere length over five years and see if that bore any association with levels of omega-3 fatty acids at the beginning of the study," Farzaneh-Far said.

And, indeed, there was a relationship.

"We found that as blood levels of omega-3 went up, the rate at which telomeres shortened decreased," Farzaneh-Far said. "To the extent that that is a marker of biological aging, the rate of biological aging went down."

The findings don't change current recommendations regarding omega-3 fatty acids or what people should be doing.

"The American Heart Association recommends that those with coronary heart disease get about a gram a day of omega-3 fatty acids," said Farzaneh-Far. "Our study certainly doesn't suggest any change in that."

Dr. Melissa Tracy, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said the new study gives "some additional support to the use of omega-3 fatty acids." But, she noted, it's unclear how far these findings could be extrapolated to other groups of people, such as those who don't have coronary artery disease.

"There are other extraneous circumstances which can impact telomere length," she said.

And, Tracy added, "we should try to do as much with our own bodies that we can. I am an advocate of proper diet, exercise, for optimizing your lifestyle, meaning reducing stress and getting enough sleep."

SOURCES: Ramin Farzaneh-Far, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, University of California, San Francisco; Melissa Tracy, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine, and medical director, cardiac rehabilitation, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; John Bowman, M.S., associate professor of pharmacy practice, Texas A&M Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy; Suzanne Steinbaum, M.D., preventive cardiologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City and spokeswoman, American Heart Association; Jan. 20, 2010, Journal of the American Medical Association Published on: January 19, 2010