Omega-3, cardiovascular function and exercise


Regular and moderate exercise strengthens your heart, even if you have heart disease (if this is the case, talk with your doctor about it). Furthermore, it lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol, helps manage stress, improves sleep and can help you to stay at a healthy weight.

The cardiovascular system has important functions during exercise, among others: delivers oxygen and nutrients to muscles, and oxygenates blood by returning it to the lungs. Knowing that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have beneficial effects on cardiovascular function, a study has measured how dietary supplementation with DHA (2 g/day) + EPA (3 g/day) for 6 weeks affects stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped out of the heart during each contraction), cardiac output (the amount of blood leaving the heart each minute) and systemic vascular resistance (the resistance that blood experiences as it travels throughout the circulatory system) during 20 minutes of bicycle exercise (10 min each at a low and moderate intensity). Supplementation augmented increases in stroke volume and cardiac output, and tended to attenuate decreases in systemic vascular resistance during the moderate exercise.

So, dietary supplementation with EPA and DHA can increase oxygen delivery during exercise and this could have beneficial implications even for people with cardiovascular disease and reduced exercise tolerance.




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