Here’s another good reason to take fish oil: Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the inflammation associated with angioplasty, stenting, and bypass surgery to help arteries more fully and completely heal.
The findings, reported in The FASEB Journal published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, indicate the naturally derived compounds from polyunsaturated fatty acids combat the excessive inflammation and scarring from such procedures that can lead to permanent disability and even death.
"Our study suggests that biologically active, naturally occurring compounds derived from omega-3 [fatty acids] reduce inflammation and improve the healing of blood vessels after injury," said Michael S. Conte, M.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery and the Heart and Vascular Center at the University of California, in San Francisco. "They suggest a new opportunity to improve the long-term results of cardiovascular procedures such as bypass surgery and angioplasty by the therapeutic application of this class of agents or their dietary precursors."
To make this discovery, Conte and colleagues studied the effects of the compounds in patients who had undergone bypass operations, and then in rabbits who were treated with a balloon angioplasty procedure.
Both studies found the compounds dramatically reduced inflammation, cell migration, and cell growth in vascular smooth muscle cells.
"If successful in further studies, this finding could be a huge benefit to patients undergoing these procedures," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "What's even better, is that these potentially lifesaving compounds are already available in any fish market or grocery store."
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