Omega 3 fatty acids were described in a 1992 article by William EM Lands, a biochemist, and while this was not the first that scientists knew of them, it was the beginning of their journey into the public consciousness. They are considered essential for normal growth in young children and animals, and are found in highest quantities in cold water oily fish such as salmon. Flax seeds, butternuts, walnut and pecans are also good sources of this essential substance. Omega 3 has been used to stunning effect in trials studying colon and breast cancer, pain relief, eye health, autism, mental cognition, macular degeneration, appetite suppressing, and treatment of depression.
However, their potential in treating heart disease could help thousands more people than all of these uses put together. We look at why Thailand heart centers and hospitals in Bangkok are putting Omega 3 on the list of standard treatments for heart disease.
A 17 year study of males without a history of heart disease recently published its results. It found that men with the highest concentration of Omega 3 fats in their blood were up to 80% less likely to suffer sudden death as a result of heart disease. A similar study covered women over 16 years, and found that those who ate fish two to four times weekly were at a 30% lower risk of developing heart disease, when compared with women who rarely ate fish. In countries where fish is a usual part of the diet, such as Japan and Thailand, heart disease rates are much lower. Thailand heart centers in Bangkok and Phuket are now starting to understand the impact that every aspect of diet can make on the progression of heart disease.
Omega 3 consumption reduces several of the most common risk factors that Thailand heart centers identify in cardiac surgery patients. The levels of blood triglycerides in patients who begin taking Omega 3 is reduced – so dramatically that in addition to preparing people for cardiac treatment in Thailand, Omega 3’s are used to treat people with pancreatic disease who do not respond to conventional drug treatment. Omega 3’s have also been shown to reduce the clotting factor in blood, meaning that they are a gentler (although less effective) alternative to Warfarin and other blood thinning drugs. If patients who have been taking Omega 3 do suffer a heart attack, it is less likely that the obstruction will be fatal.
If cardiac bypass surgery in Thailand or other cardiac surgery is needed, it is in the patient’s interests to have as low a blood pressure as possible. Both Bangkok Heart Hospital and Pattaya Hospital recommend blood pressures at the high end of a normal range. Omega 3’s have been shown to reduce blood pressure, and also reduce the inflammatory response. This anti-inflammatory property is most often touted for arthritis treatment, but is just as useful in treating heart disease.
The American Heart Foundation recommends eating oily fish at least two times per week (although many studies show that extra intake does not necessarily equate to extra benefits), including mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines and herring. Patients under the care of Thailand heart centers should intake at least 1 gram of EPA and DHA daily, while patients who are trying to lower triglycerides in conjunction with Thailand hospital heart centers should eat 2-4 grams daily, in capsule form.