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Cardiovascular health

Omega-3 phospholipids and the prevention of cardiovascular disease
Omega-3 = EPA + DHA

Cardiovascular disease
Globally, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the main cause of morbidity and death. A number of well-publicized CVD risk factors — and ways to prevent CVD — are associated with dietary components.

Omega-3 phospholipids’ role in preventing cardiovascular disease
Patients diagnosed with CVD have shown significantly lower concentrations of omega-3 in tissues, blood, and red blood cells. Omega-3 provides recognized beneficial effects in preventing CVD, and the evidence supporting greater omega-3 dietary intake is increasing.

Mechanisms by which omega-3 phospholipids prevent cardiovascular disease
The benefits of omega-3 phospholipids in the prevention of CVD result from modulation of risk factors via a number of mechanisms proposed by scientists. On the sub-cellular level, risk factor modulation results from incorporation of omega-3 phospholipids in cell membranes, alteration of membrane properties, altering inflammatory responses, inclusion in modulating enzymes involved in cell signaling pathways, and altering gene expression.

Omega-3 modulates cardiovascular risk factors
Omega-3 helps prevent heart disease by beneficially affecting several CVD risk factors. Omega-3 has been observed to lower blood pressure and appears to help prevent arrhythmia. A lower risk of CV blood clot formation may be the result of omega-3’s alteration of blood clotting processes. Omega-3 has beneficial effects on blood cholesterol levels by decreasing the level of so-called “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and increasing the level of “good” cholesterol (HDL). Omega-3 is also thought to help deter atherosclerosis processes. Modulation of the aforementioned risk factors is suggested as primary components of the beneficial effects of omega-3 in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Ako3™ provides cardioprotective omega-3 phospholipids
Ako3™ provides omega-3 in phospholipid form, mainly as phosphatidylcholine. Omega-3 availability is increased when delivered by phospholipids compared with other sources, due to more efficient absorption of omega-3 phospholipids in the small intestine. After absorption, phosphatidylcholine is incorporated into cell membranes and participates in fatty acid transport in blood and across membranes. Lysophosphatidylcholine is thought to impact the distribution of fatty acids to the body’s organs and tissues because of its role in lipoprotein assemblages, which serve as vehicles that transport fatty acids via blood serum. In certain animal models, after removing phosphatidylcholine from the diet, a significant reduction in the transport of fatty acids to tissues, accompanied by accumulation of fat in the liver, have been observed. As a consequence of the enhanced availability of omega-3 when delivered by phospholipids in humans, it is proposed that Ako3™is a superior source of omega-3 for preventing CVD.

Omega-3 Index reflects effect of individual’s omega-3 supplements
Due to the role of omega-3 in reducing the risk of CVD, greater dietary intake of omega-3 is recommended.

The Omega-3 Index, a diagnostic tool, can provide feedback on an individual’s omega-3 supplement dosage. The Index was developed to provide a routine clinical assessment of the risk of dying from a cardiovascular event. By recording the percentage concentration of omega-3 in red blood cells, the Omega-3 Index provides a useful indication of a person’s long-term ingestion of omega-3. Because the Omega-3 Index reflects the incorporation of omega-3 in cell membranes, which provides beneficial CVD effects, the Index is suggested to correlate with both CVD risk and the body’s omega-3 status.
A subject’s Omega-3 Index is determined from a blood droplet drawn from a fingertip. Test results falling within the green range (>8%) of the Omega-3 Index are desirable. (See chart.) Use of supplements rich in omega-3 phospholipids can shift an individual’s Omega-3 Index towards the right (the green, healthier scale range), which indicates the lowering of risk.

Risk of sudden death

Breslow JL. n-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006; 83: 1477-82.
De Caterina R, Zampolli A, Del Turco S, et al. Nutritional mechanisms that influence cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006; 83(2): 421S-426S.
Dyerberg J, Bang HO, Stoffersen E, et al. Eicosapentaenoic acid and prevention of thrombosis and atherosclerosis? Lancet. 1978; 2(8081): 117-9.
Harris WS. The omega-3 index as a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008; 87 (6): 1997 – 2002.
Jung UJ, Torrejon C, Tighe AP, et al. n – 3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: mechanisms underlying beneficial effects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008; 87: 2003-9
Yusuf S, Hawken S, Ounpuu S, et al. Effect of potentially modifiable risk factors associated with myocardial infarction in 52 countries (the INTERHEART study): case-control study. Lancet. 2004; 364(9438): 937-52.

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