A diet rich in oily fish like salmon, trout and sardines may protect the heart and blood vessels by reducing inflammation.
Investigators from Aalborg University in Denmark found that individuals with the highest cell levels of DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, had lower levels of C-reactive protein in their blood. C-reactive protein, a marker of blood vessel inflammation, is associated with risk of heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids may protect against inflammation, which is thought to contribute to the build-up of plaque inside arteries, by inhibiting the formation of inflammation-promoting proteins. Previous studies have found an association between high blood levels of CRP and increased heart attack risk in otherwise healthy individuals. Individuals whose CRP levels were in the lowest quartile had significantly higher levels of DHA in cell membranes.
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