Omega-3 and heart rate

frecuencia cardiaca

Heart rate is the number of times the heart beats per minute; it varies from person to person, and is influenced by many factors, including activity level, fitness level, emotions, body size, and medications, among others, but a «normal» resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute (although about 50-70 beats per minute is ideal).
Active people often have a lower heart rate because their heart muscle is in better condition and doesn’t need to work as hard to maintain bodily functions. This is common for people who get a lot of physical activity or are very athletic (a well-trained athlete might have a resting heart rate closer to 40 beats a minute). For example, cyclists generally have an extraordinary heart capacity: Miguel Induráin, a five-time Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medalist in 1996, recorded a resting heart rate of 28 beats per minute.
The higher a person’s resting heart rate, the greater the risk of premature death; a reduction of 3.2 beats per minute would correspond to 7.5% lower risk of sudden cardiac death. In competitive athletes, sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of medical death; it occurs more frequently in certain sports (in the United States, basketball and football; in Europe, in soccer), and although it is rare, its occurrence has a large impact on society. Even though most sudden cardiac death in competitive athletes occur in the younger ones, it is far more common in older non-competitive athletes (mainly men) during sports. As the population ages and the popularity of running, and cycling, increases, the risk in this group is likely to grow.
Among people with «normal heart rate», it has been observed that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids (EPA + DHA) is associated with a reduction in resting heart rate of 2.23 beats per minute, and supplementation with only one of them, DHA, is related to a reduction of 2.47 beats per minute. Given that, as noted above, a reduction of 3.2 beats per minute would correspond to 7.5% lower risk of sudden cardiac death, this effect deserves to be taken into account.



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