Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dr. Ho on Cardiovascular Disease and Omega 3

Omega 3 PUFAs and Cardiovascular Disease

As most of us are aware, in today’s society, our human diet is vastly different than that of our ancestors. In earlier times hunting, fishing and gathering of foods was an important part of their lifestyle. This resulted in them acquiring a balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3, a ratio of 1:1. Due to our fast lifestyle and the need for convenience we are now preparing and eating less and less fish and other marine mammals.

As a result, our diet is deficient in Omega 3 Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs), showing a ratio of 25-35:1. Omega 3 is ‘essential’ for human health and development, meaning that it is necessary for life. This ‘essential’ fatty acid cannot be produced by the body, but must be obtained from another food source such as fish, marine mammals, or Seal Oil capsules. The Omega 3 Seal Oil (PUFAs), which I have developed, is composed of Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA, 20:5n-3), Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA, 22:6n-3), and Docosapentaenoic Acid (DPA, 22:5n-3).

In recent research all three of these components have been proven to be vitally important in human health, growth and development, from infancy to senior years. Omega 3 PUFAs are important for cellular membrane components and the production of eicosanoids, which are hormone like substances that are the body’s cellular check and balance system. The eicosanoids do not last long in the body, so they have to be produced continuously. The production of eicosanoids can be controlled if one is consuming the correct balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 PUFAs; balance means good health whereas imbalance leads to disease development.

The EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) reduces inflammation and blood clots within the cardiovascular system. Also, clinical tests have shown that diet’s rich in EPA are less inclined to develop inflamed joints (Rheumatoid arthritis), inflammation of the intestines (Crohn’s disease), lupus, asthma, multiple sclerosis and skin disease.

The DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) has been identified as an ‘essential’ building block of the brain, nerve and eye tissue. It is especially important to developing an infant’s visual acuity and motor skills. DHA is supplied naturally through a mother’s breast milk, providing the mother is eating fish and other marine mammals. More recently DHA has been supplemented through Seal Oil Formula Capsules, which is an excellent source of DHA.

With regards to DPA (Docosapentaenoic acid), it is only found in significant amounts in Seal Oil and nursing mother’s breast milk. It is as important as EPA or DHA and is an effective agent in blood vessel walls. Researchers in Japan (2003) found that DPA has a potential inhibitory effect on tumor angiogenesis (new vessel formation). This means that DPA has an anti-cancer effect.
The composition of these ‘essential’ (dietary elements that the body cannot produce, so they must be acquired through our diet) fatty acids in seal oil are ultimately involved in controlling inflammation, cardiovascular health, myelin sheath development, allergic reactivity, immune response, hormone modulation, IQ, and behavior.

These ‘essential’ fatty acids play a vital role in maintaining the integrity and fluidity of the membranes that surrounds human cells, protecting them from free radical damage (cell attacking molecules which are believed to be one of the main causes of cellular damage and the aging process). Scientific studies have shown that Omega 3 fatty acid deficiency is seen as the leading cause of Westernized Degenerative Diseases such as, Cardiovascular Disease.

The cardiovascular system is composed of the heart and the blood vessels. The heart is a muscle, which is composed of 4 chambers, so when our heart contracts, the blood is pumped out and into the arteries (blood vessels). The arteries (have thick vessel walls), in turn, transport the blood away from the heart, and then the veins transport the blood back into the heart.

Due to our westernized dietary habits, Cardiovascular Disease stops being a remote threat, only to take on a personal relevance. Cardiovascular Disease refers to a class of diseases that involve the heart and/or blood vessels (arteries and veins). It is a result of arterial damage, including such diseases as, Coronary Heart Disease, Atherosclerosis, Hypertension, Arrhythmia, and Stroke.
Currently there are more than 68 million Americans with one or more cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke; with many more at risk of developing it. Cardiovascular Disease is the top ranking number one killer, accounting for about one-third of all deaths in industrialized countries.

The risk factors associated with Cardiovascular Disease: Elevated LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol),Elevated serum trigylcerides,Homocysteine (a sulfur-containing amino acid),Low HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol,) Hypertension, Smoking, Obesity, Diabetes, Male, Low-level of physical activity, and Genetics

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