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How do omega-3 fatty acids lower the risk of heart disease?

Grant Cooper, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Omega-3 fatty acids in the membrane help platelets move through the arteries without sticking together. Platelets, the cells in your blood vessels that are responsible for clotting, are one of the primary culprits in the development of cholesterol plaques in the arteries, which leads to coronary artery disease, heart disease, and heart attacks. By allowing platelets to slip and slide past each other -- thanks to the malleable cell membranes -- a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is believed to lower the risk of heart disease.
The Arthritis Handbook: Improve Your Health and Manage the Pain of Osteoarthritis (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

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The Arthritis Handbook: Improve Your Health and Manage the Pain of Osteoarthritis (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

According to conventional wisdom, arthritis pain is an inevitable part of aging. Not so, says Dr. Grant Cooper in this practical, accessible guide. For those who do develop osteoarthritic conditions,...
While fish is low in heart-unhealthy saturated fat, it provides another healthy quality that makes it a ringer for your heart. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish can help slow the plaque buildup in your arteries that contribute to heart disease as well as reduce your risk of dying from heart disease.

It is currently recommended that you eat two fish meals, especially omega 3-rich fatty fish, weekly. Salmon, sardines, and tuna are all good sources of omega 3. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.