A new article has reviewed the benefits of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and their role in the prevention and treatment of the coronary artery disease (CAD).
In an article for the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Mark Tabaka, from Bristol Hospital in Connecticut, analyzed multiple observational studies on CAD patterns.
He found that populations whose diets are rich in fish oils, such as the Inuit people inhabiting the Arctic regions from Alaska to Greenaland, have far lower rates of heart disease and related morbidity than the general population.
Fatty fish such as mackerel and salmon and fish oil are among the best natural sources of these essential acids.
Scientists have put forward several theories to explain the exact mechanism by which PUFAs contribute to better cardiovascular health. They include antithrombosis, lower blood pressure and lower triglyceride levels.
However, the most likely mechanisms appear to be the antiarrhythmic and antiatherosclerotic properties of PUFAs, according to the author.
In conclusion, Tabaka points out that the American Heart Association’s guideline regarding appropriate daily PUFA intake for persons with CAD is approximately one gram per day.
"Because obtaining this high level from dietary sources alone might be difficult to achieve, fish oil supplements are an option," he writes.
According to the American Heart Association, approximately 480,000 people die from CAD each year, making it the leading cause of death in the country.