Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Scientific Evidence
In research involving animals such as dogs, rats, and marmosets, just prior to experimentally caused heart attacks, omega 3 fatty acids given to these animals were discovered to prevent ventricular fibrillation. Omega 3 fatty acids were also discovered to stop ventricular fibrillation in animals undergoing experimentally caused heart attacks. Scientists therefore conclude and suspect that omega 3 fatty acids may prevent ventricular fibrillation in human heart attacks. Omega 3 is believed to prevent sudden death, since ventricular fibrillation is the most important cause of rapid loss of life among the death victims due to heart attacks.
Apart from scientific evidence based on animal studies, there has also been some scientific evidence found based from two major and long term observational studies known as the Nurses’ Health Study and the Physician’s Health Study, that have been released to provide proof of the relationship between fish oil intake and omega 3, with the chances of heart problems and sudden cardiovascular death.
The Nurses’ Health Study was first conducted in 1976 when more than 80,000 nurses completed style of living and diet surveys. They were followed for 16 years for the development of heart problems. Omega 3 fatty acids intake was calculated from the surveys. The result of the research was already released in JAMA vol 287. No.14, p. 1815. The study discovered that females who ate fish once a week had a 29% reduced chance of developing heart problems, compared to females who rarely ate fish of just about less than one meal serving per month. Those who ate fish five times per week even had a 34% reduction in the chance of heart problems and a 45% reduction in the chance of loss of life from the usuall sudden cardiovascular death and other related heart problems.
On the other hand, the Physician’s Health Study began in 1982 and more than 20,000 healthy male physicians were followed for 11 years. Like the Nurses’ Health Study, diet data and lifestyle were gathered via surveys of 12 months and 18 months and the results of the research was also released in JAMA 1998, vol. 279, p. 23. The study discovered that men who consumed one or more meals rich in omega 3 like fish in a week had a 50% reduced chance of developing sudden cardiovascular death, compared to men who rarely ate fish of less than one meal serving per month.
In a separate article, experts compared levels of omega 3 fatty acids in the blood in 94 of these men who died of sudden cardiovascular attacks against living men matched for age and smoking habits. They discovered that high levels of omega 3 fatty acids in the body system were associated with a low chance of cardiovascular sudden death. Men with the highest levels of omega 3 fatty acids in their blood had an 80% reduced chance of sudden cardiovascular death than men with the lowest blood levels. High omega 3 fatty acids in the system are usually due to a high intake of seafood, most especially the ones rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as fish.