Recipe for Heart Health? Exercise, fish oils supplement a great combo

When fat (lipid) levels rise in the blood for an extended time, a condition called post prandial lipemia, it can cause a temporary risk for atherosclerosis, a leading cause of heart disease. Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that a session of prolonged exercise along with taking a fish oil supplement dramatically decreases a condition that leads to atherosclerosis.

The researchers conducted the study to examine the effects of exercise and fish oil on triglyceride levels in the bloodstream after subjects ate high-fat meals. The results show that people who engage in prolonged, aerobic exercise have muscle cells that break down triglycerides quickly and that taking a fish oil supplement can be even more effective in reducing triglyceride levels.

“Fat in the bloodstream is a primary contributor to atherosclerosis, or partial blockage of the arteries,” said one researcher. “The results of this research demonstrate that it is very beneficial for active people to take fish oil if they’re concerned about their triglyceride levels after eating a fatty meal.”

The researchers examined triglyceride levels following meals in recreationally active males. Results indicated that peak triglyceride levels in the subjects who took a fish oil supplement before eating a high-fat meal were reduced by 38%. Those who both exercised and took a fish oil supplement reduced their triglyceride levels by 50%.

University of Missouri-Columbia, Jun 9, 2004