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Omega-3s may reduce artery calcification

The inside of an artery can narrow, without symptoms, due to plaque building up with age. Few studies have tested the effect of omega-3s on arterial calcification in the general population.

In this study, doctors measured calcification of the aorta—the largest artery in the body that extends from the heart to the abdomen—in 998 asymptomatic multi-ethnic men, ages 40 to 49.

Using a low-dose, multi-angle X-ray CT scan, doctors found 57 percent of the men had some level of aortic calcification. Doctors also found as circulating levels of omega-3s increased, aortic calcification decreased. The omega-3 DHA was particularly beneficial, with each two percent increase in DHA levels reducing aortic calcification scores by 35 percent.

Discussing the findings, doctors said omega-3s reduced aortic calcification independent of any other factors that increase chances for heart or circulatory events, and that these findings are significant for public health policy. 

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