Fish oil is one of the most popular dietary supplements in the U.S. because of the perceived cardiovascular benefits of the omega-3 it contains. However, scientific findings on its effectiveness have been conflicting. New research in Physiological Reports supports the claims for seniors, reporting that taking omega-3 fish oil supplements every day can improve the cardiovascular health of healthy seniors after 12 weeks of use.
Risk of cardiovascular disease increases with age because the arteries become stiffer. Arterial stiffness affects how blood travels through them and ultimately how strongly the heart needs to pump. The most commonly used measures of arterial stiffness are pulse wave velocity (PWV) and augmentation index. When the heart ejects blood into the blood vessels, pressure increases, creating a bulge in the vessel. PWV is the speed at which the bulge ripples through the arteries. When the pressure pulse hits a fork in the arteries, part of the pressure pulse bounces back towards the heart and combines with the new pulse coming out of the heart. How much the reflected pulse enhances the new one is called augmentation index. High PWV and high augmentation index values reflect stiffer arteries.
With age, the body can become more vulnerable to developing certain conditions or even injuries related with aging. Cardiovascular disease is among the most common complication reported among the elderly, due to changes in the arteries. Fortunately, research has determined that omega-3 fish oil supplements can have tremendous benefits for seniors. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.