Plant-based Omega-3 good for heart's health too
Increasing the amount of Omega-3s in your diet, whether from fish or flax, will likely decrease your risk of getting heart disease, says a study.
New York: Increasing the amount of Omega-3s in your diet, whether from fish or flax, will likely decrease your risk of getting heart disease, says a study.
While the benefits of the marine-derived Omega-3 fatty acids are well known, the new research demonstrates the positive effects of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based Omega-3 fatty acid.
"Our understanding of the cardiovascular disease benefits of ALA has advanced markedly during the past decade," said Penny Kris-Etherton, professor of nutrition at Pennsylvania State University in the US.
"Based on the current evidence, ALA decreases CVD risk," Kris-Etherton added.
ALA is found in flaxseed and its oil, vegetable oils, and some nuts, and is now available in supplement form.
In reviewing existing literature on the subject, the researchers found that ALA is likely just as effective in preventing cardiovascular disease as marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential for human health, but the body does not produce them -- therefore they must be consumed in order to maintain appropriate levels.
The researchers believe that dietary recommendations should be amended to increase the amount of ALA consumed.
The study appeared in the journal Advances in Nutrition.