• Vascular Disease Omega-3 Fatty Acids and vascular health
  • Vascular Disease Omega-3 Fatty Acids and vascular health
  • Vascular Disease Omega-3 Fatty Acids and vascular health
  • Vascular Disease Omega-3 Fatty Acids and vascular health

What is vascular disease? 

The primary vascular disease is atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries in the heart, brain and other organs. 
How does the functioning of the vascular system greatly to the development of chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure? 
Endothelial cells lining the arteries are active in the normal maintenance of the tone of blood vessels, - the tension in the walls of the arteries and immunological processes occurring in the blood vessels. Smooth muscle cells in the artery walls also regulate blood pressure and contribute to vascular function. 

Vascular disease, atherosclerosis causes thickening of the artery walls and narrow, which makes the blood vessels susceptible to clogging and decreased its flexibility. If platelets, - triggering small blood cells of the blood-clotting form a clot in the blood vessel where it narrows or branched, blood flow is reduced or eliminated. If a blood vessel is blocked, it will be followed by a heart attack or stroke. With the reduced circulation, blood flow in the blood vessels leading to the heart can be altered, causing the fluid to accumulate in other parts of the body. 

The process of atherosclerosis involves binding of cholesterol rich lipoproteins to the inner wall of the artery (endothelium), inflammation of the artery, formation of foam cells leading to plaque formation and calcification of the arterial wall. Atherosclerosis is generally accepted as an inflammatory disease. Vascular disease affecting the heart, commonly known as coronary heart disease, if it affects the brain as cerebrovascular disease and whether affecting the limbs (mainly the legs), and peripheral vascular disease. 

What diseases are associated with vascular disease? 

Many of the vascular disorders associated with atherosclerotic plaque buildup, formed from cholesterol, fat, calcium and other substances in the blood. 

• A lump-like aneurysm in an artery 
• Angina- chest pain that occurs when an area of the heart muscle does not get enough oxygen-rich blood 
• Arritmia- a rhythm or pattern of abnormal heartbeats 
• Aterosclerosis- hardening and narrowing of the arteries due to plaque buildup 
• Cerebrovascular Diseases, disorders of the blood vessels supplying the brain 
• Heart disease coronaria- failure of coronary circulation to supply adequate circulation to the heart muscle and surrounding tissue 
• Attack heart-also called myocardial infarction, occurs when blood flow to a section of heart muscle is blocked, if blood flow is not restored quickly, the section of heart muscle begins to die from lack of oxygen 
• Blood-pressure abnormally high blood pressure (a reading of 140/90 mm ​​Hg or greater), normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg or less, with intermediate values ​​is considered pre-hypertension 
• Peripherally artery disease, plaque buildup in the arteries that carry blood to the head, organs and limbs 
• Cerebral effusion occurs when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain (ischemic stroke) or when a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain (hemorrhagic stroke) 
• Thrombosis when an atherosclerotic plaque ruptures or cracks, platelets clump together at the site to form blood clots that can travel to the arteries or veins in the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and limbs 

What factors influence the development of vascular disease? 

Atherosclerosis is the most common cause of vascular disease. The point of view of long-standing underlying risk of vascular disease tells us that consumption of total fat, saturated fat, total cholesterol in the diet, raise low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) in the blood, causing cardiovascular disease. 

But the famous Framingham Heart Study showed that there are many factors that affect the likelihood of developing heart disease, stroke and vascular disease, such as smoking, stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, high cholesterol blood, low levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), diabetes, advanced age, obesity, family history of heart disease, high blood levels of triglycerides and other. Eating habits contribute to many of these factors and may be effective in reducing their contribution to vascular disease.
 
In particular, the quality of fat we eat, including omega-3 fatty acids from fish, which reduce the impact of several of these factors. 

How do we know that omega-3s affect vascular health? 

The first observations on diet and vascular disease 
More than two decades ago, researchers reported that deaths from coronary heart disease were more than 50 percent lower among people who ate at least 30 grams of fish per day than among those who do not eat fish. Even before that, it was known that native Arctic populations, whose diet was rich in marine animals, were free of heart disease, thanks to long-chain fatty acids omega-3 (omega-3) consuming. 

Population studies and clinical trials suggest that dietary oils fish favorably modify several risk factors and have the potential to reduce the progression of vascular disease, the probability of dying of heart disease and the possibility of sudden cardiac death . In elderly, tuna or other broiled fish or baked was associated with a lower likelihood of suffering an ischemic stroke. 

Other studies found that consumption of omega-3 reduces the risk of vascular disease, myocardial infarction, inflammation, cardiac arrhythmias, sudden cardiac death, atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease. In the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease-that is, after preventing the occurrence of a first coronary event studies have largely concluded that consumption of fish or omega-3 significantly reduces the chance of another heart attack or major event.

The American Heart Association and many other professional groups have recommended consuming at least two servings of fatty fish a week to reduce the chance of heart disease. They further argue that the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid from plant kingdom has only weak effects on heart disease and does not affect many factors such as omega-3 fish and seafood. 

The omega-3 and vascular disease 

The exact mechanisms of how omega-3s affect the vascular disease is becoming better understood. Omega-3s are essential components of cell membranes which affect communication within and between cells. By partial substitution of omega-6 fatty acids in membranes, omega-3 marine dampen excessive effect of omega-6 on inflammation and cardiac arrhythmias. In vascular endothelial cells, the omega-3 have numerous anti-inflammatory effects, particularly in areas where plaque accumulates. 

The omega-3 fatty acids affect all stages of vascular disease, including alterations in lipids and lipoproteins, blood pressure, platelet aggregation, relaxation of the arteries (which facilitates blood flow and reduces arterial) pressure, changes in the electrical properties of the heart and changes in gene expression. The omega-3 fatty acids also reduce the growth of endothelial cells and release of growth factors from damaged blood vessels. These effects help to reduce the recurrence of narrowed blood vessels. 

Maintain vascular health through diet 

Establish healthy eating habits 

Make a lifestyle of healthy eating habits, provides beneficial nutrients and reduces many conditions that promote disease and other vascular disorders. Healthy patterns of food, especially when accompanied by positive habits such as exercising regularly and not smoking life can improve endothelial function, too. Improved nutrition has also been associated with less peripheral arterial disease.

Eating patterns such as the Mediterranean and the DASH diet minimizes consumption of saturated and trans fatty acids, such as margarines, vegetable seed oils, excess salt, and fried foods and processed â € <â € <in large measure. Instead, emphasize eating generous amounts of fruits and vegetables, cereals rich in dietary fiber, fats like olive and canola oils, herbs and spices instead of salt, nuts, moderate red wine, very little red meat, and consumption of fish and seafood at least twice a week. 

Increase intake of omega-3 

In Western societies and elsewhere, the daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids is much lower than those recommended by the American Heart Association and other health authorities. In the USA, an average of 100 to 150 mg of omega-3 consumed daily, which is very little. The consumption of 500 to 1000 mg per day is considered more beneficial for health. Those with a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids are healthy endothelial function compared with those whose consumption is low. Therefore, the increased intake of omega-3 vascular function, inflammatory processes and diseases associated with these conditions will benefit. 


A food-based to increase consumption of omega-3 approach means that regular items such as seafood, especially fatty fish and many products fortified with omega-3s are included. These include eggs, yogurt, milk, pasta, some juices and drinks, and some snack foods. The caveat is that the foods that claim to contain omega-3 fatty acids can contain omega-3, only from plant-based alpha-linolenic acid. This omega-3 usually has only weak or no effects on vascular diseases and risk factors of heart. The only way to know that omega-3s are found in a product is to read the ingredient label should say food and Omega 3 marine origin. 

For people who do not eat fish, vegetarians or those who need a gram a day of omega-3 to control your blood cholesterol or triglycerides, liver oil supplements fish are safer and easier to get higher doses of omega-3 recommended. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) of USA, found that intake of up to 3 grams per day of DHA and EPA is absolutely safe and recommended. 

There is now substantial evidence that regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, provides health benefits and vascular function, reduce the dangers of heart disease and other chronic health conditions. Consuming more of these fatty acids may be one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect the cardiovascular system. 

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