FoodFacts.com has been keeping up with the latest research regarding Omega-3 fatty acids and their benefits to our overall health and well being. Today we found some interesting research from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and Jena University Hospital that helps us to better understand how Omega-3 fatty acids positively affect our bodies.
We’ve known for a long time that eating fish is a healthy choice. Fish is an easily digestible source of lean protein. And the Omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish bring added benefits for us all. Omega-3 fatty acids are found mostly in fatty fish like herring, salmon, and whitefish. They are linked with lowering blood pressure, strengthening our immune systems and being beneficial to our nervous systems and cardiovascular systems.
While we have evidence of all of these positive effects of Omega-3 fatty acids, we’ve never had a true picture of how they work for our benefit on a molecular level. This new study does just that. In articles published in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA,” the scientists involved in the research describe how they analyzed the impact of Omega-3 fatty acids on a systemic level.
They were able to show that the “SLO1” potassium channel is an important component in the effectiveness of Omega-3s. These channels act like receptors for DHA (the most complex form of Omega-3) and are opened by the binding of Omega-3 fatty acids. The researchers explored the effects on the SLO1 channels on the cardiovascular systems of mice. Lab experiments found that administering DHA to the mice expanded their blood vessels and resulted in a drop in blood pressure. The same effect did not occur in genetically modified mice who lacked the ability to produce the SLO1 channel. So the findings confirmed that DHA has an impact on blood pressure that is mediated through SLO1 channels.
In addition, the researchers were surprised to find that a variant of DHA, often found in nutritional supplements, doesn’t seem to have the same effect on blood pressure. In fact, it appeared to suppress the effect of the natural DHA. So that consumption of non-natural Omega-3 fatty acids might actually counter the positive effects of the natural substance. This will be important for the supplementation patients and may alter clinical requirements in the future.
FoodFacts.com has always been a proponent of the inclusion of fish on our menus. Fish offers great taste and variety to meals and important nutritional benefits. We’re happy to see the confirmation of those benefits on a very meaningful level. You can read more about this fascinating study here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305080655.htm