Disease & Conditions >>> Heart Health Articles & News
Fish N Chips VS. Burgers N Fries!
By: DAVE WOYNAROWSKI, M.D.
The World's Top Anti-Aging Specialist
It's occurred to me with all of the hoopla surrounding our former President's Heart Disease that I haven't really sat down and written an article about the benefits of Fish Oil and Heart disease.
So here it is!
If you go into any traditional Medical practice in this country and mention Fish Oil or Omega 3 fatty acids, you are likely to get blank stares.
While it is catching on more and more there are still tons of doctors who have no clue as to its potential.
If you do find one who knows about it however he or she will most likely be aware of its beneficial effects on heart disease. Sort of!
So, by the end of this article YOU will know more than most doctors do and YOU will be able to educate them.
I don't recommend trying it however. Most docs' egos are based on their authority and few take kindly to being one upped by their patients, even if it is valuable info!
First thing we need to do is make sure you know what a "Heart Attack" is.
The heart is a muscle and a very specialized one at that. Its main job is to pump blood through your entire body in rhythmic and uninterrupted fashion.
If there is an interruption in its pumping action bad things can happen.
Cells start to die.
The order in which they die is dependent on how sensitive they are to lack of oxygen carried by the blood that the heart pumps.
Brain cells start to go at about 3 minutes. Some other cells are much more resilient.
The heart itself doesn't like lack of blood flow at all so the first place it supplies is itself.
There are usually 3 main heart arteries that supply blood to the heart itself.
A blockage in one or more of these can lead to a Heart Attack.
When that happens heart cells die and the heart may become permanently weakened.
If enough of the heart muscle die, so do you!
Another thing often happens during a heart attack. That is the heart gets" irritable" and starts to beat in very irregular fashion, further impairing it's ability to pump vital blood.
This irritability is called Ventricular Fibrillation (or ventricular tachycardia is another one).
These irregular heart beats are responsible for "Sudden Cardiac Death" which accounts for at least 30% of all deaths due to heart attack, perhaps even more.
While a Heart Attack can kill you suddenly, it is rare that the actual blockage develops suddenly.
Autopsies on soldiers in the Korean War showed blockages beginning as early as age 17.
These days with the epic of childhood obesity and diabetes we have seen the process start as early as age 8!
Over years heart arteries become slowly but surely blocked. Somewhere around 70% blockages you can start to get into trouble.
At that point you may develop "heart pain" or "ANGINA".
Not everyone gets these warnings however, hence the tragic "Sudden Cardiac Death" that occurs in some people.
The actual final event that stops or reduces blood flow to a trickle in the heart arteries is the formation of a blood clot.
This is due to slow flow but also the presence of lots of inflammatory mediators (chemicals that attract and create inflammation).
You see I believe as do a few others out there than heart disease is primarily an inflammatory disease.
Constant exposure to oxygen free radicals without a way to buffer them causes the generation a damage and repair cycle that is pathologic (disease causing).
Basically instead of a healthy artery, you get one that is clogged by an ever increasing scar.
Now let's look at the main ways that fish Oil blocks this whole process.
1) Fish Oil is a potent anti-inflammatory. This property accounts for its effectiveness at treating allergies skin conditions, bowel conditions and Alzheimer's as well as arthritis to name a few.
WE in this country generally eat too many plant fats, called Omega 6 fats. While these are not bad of their own accord we eat way too much of them and way to little Omega 3 Fish Oil fats.
It is estimated that the average American has a 30:1 Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio.
Omega 6's are primarily inflammatory fats, Omega 3's are anti-inflammatory.
So, to stop the progression of inflammatory diseases like blockages of the heart arteries you need to consume way much more Omega 3 Fish Oil.
Why not store bought supplements, or fish itself.
Simple: pollution. Both are loaded with metals and other carcinogens (cancer causing agents) in my opinion.
I certainly do not want them in my body, and I doubt you do either!
Next fish Oil is a potent inhibitor (blocker) of blood clots, the final common pathway of a heart attack.
Next, Fish Oil is a potent Anti-Arrythmic agent. Remember those bad heart beats that can occur in heart attacks (Ventricular Fibrillation and tachycardia)?
Well this past may a Harvard affiliate medical school lab too real live people and gave them Intravenous Fish Oil to suppress their irregular heart beats.
That's right Intravenous Fish Oil!!!!
The Oil stopped the bad heart beats in all but one case, and in that case it decreased them markedly.
While the researchers did not want to come out and say that this is a far better response than any drug could have, believe me it is, and without the side effects of these drugs which can be deadly!
Fish Oil also seems to boost the Good HDL cholesterol which further lowers the risk of heart attack.
So there you have it: fewer blockages, less blood clots, less irregular heart beats + fewer heart attacks.
OK that's all well and good in theory, but what about in real life?
Well there was one very big study that showed all of this.
It is called the GISSI Prevenzione study and had thousands of patients in it.
In this particular study fish Oil was given to people who already had heart attacks so they already had higher risks of another heart attack.
When the data were looked at, Fish Oil reduced sudden cardiac death by a whopping 45%. Overall heart attack by around 25% and total mortality from ALL CAUSES (like cancer, falls with broken bones and lung disease) by at least 20%.
When the fish Oil data was compared to that of the most popular cholesterol lowering drug in the world Zocor tm, Fish Oil was 4X more effective at preventing another heart attack.
No wonder the Drug Companies don't want you to know about this.
Even worse, Fish Oil's effects were totally independent of any effect on Cholesterol which causes a lot of people to realize that cholesterol may not be the be all and end all of heart disease.
As a matter of fact it may not be nearly as important as we think.
The results of this study caused the Big Drug companies to spend billions of dollars on research to try to prove that their drugs have some merit.
You cannot beat Mother Nature guys, sorry!
Since the publication of that study, there have also been studies demonstrating primary prevention (decrease in the overall first heart attack rate).
Because of this the American heart Association begrudgingly had to put fish Oil on its list of things that you can do to prevent heart disease.
I happen to know that the American dietary council is also going to make that recommendation when it releases its "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" this next January.
I can tell you this all of my patients who have heart disease are on Fish Oil.
And all of my patients, my family and my friends who do not want Heart Disease are also taking it!
The FDA has not evaluated all of these statements. This email is for educational purposes only. Always consult your own personal doctor for medical advice and follow it even it contradicts what is said in this article. Do not stop or change any medicines you are taking without the expressed consent of your own personal physician.