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Omega-3s may improve cholesterol levels

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Omega-3 fatty acids may contribute to improved cholesterol test results and reduce the risk of many of the chronic diseases that are associated with obesity, according to a new study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

For the study, researchers studied a group of Alaskan Eskimos. This social group tends to have obesity rates that are similar to the general population. However, they have much lower rates of chronic diseases associated with extra weight, including heart disease and diabetes and they eat a lot of omega-3-rich fish.

The researchers examined participants’ blood for levels of omega-3s and administered cholesterol and C-reactive protein tests. The results of these tests showed that those with the highest levels of omega-3s were the healthiest, even though many of them were overweight or obese. Cholesterol levels were significantly lower.

"It is reasonable to ask, based on our findings, whether the lower prevalence of diabetes in this population might be attributed, at least in part, to their high consumption of omega-3-rich fish," said Zeina Makhoul, who led the investigation.

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