Omega-3s Promote Good Heart Health

Written by OmegaXL on May 15, 2014

For those with severe artery blockages, procedures like angioplasty, stenting or bypass surgery may be lifesaving. However, these procedures involve cutting into and then repairing the arteries, and this can lead to excessive inflammation and cause the artery to form scar tissue. When severe, this scarring of the arteries can cause permanent disability or death.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco cultured vascular cells from patients who had bypass operations and treated them with resolvin, an anti-inflammatory compound our bodies make from EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. They also treated rabbits during a vascular surgery with resolvin infused directly into their blood vessels. In the human arterial cells, the researchers introduced concentrations of resolvin that are typical of people who take high potency fish oil supplements. They found treatment with resolvin dramatically reduced the cells’ inflammation response to injury. In rabbits, the researchers found that one-time treatment with resolvin reduced inflammation, and one month after treatment they saw less scarring of the treated blood vessels.

There may be positive implications for patients undergoing other types of surgery as well. It is important to remember that omega-3s can also increase bleeding, so you should always let your medical team know if you take a fish oil supplement and follow their instructions both before and after any surgical procedure.