In Mexico City, known for large quantities of smog, a study was conducted on 50 elderly people to see what benefits fish oil supplements might yield for cardiac health compromised by smog.
The researchers took ongoing measurements of each participant’s cardiac function, focusing specifically on their heart rate variability. Heart-rate variability refers to the heart rate alterations from beat to beat.
“Exposure to the particles of air pollution reduces heart rate variability, and taking the omega-3 fatty acids increased it,” Holguin explained. “Increased heart rate variability reduces heart disease risk.”
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They also compared the results to those being treated with soy oil, which is often recommended to address cholesterol problems:
The fish oil was much better at keeping heart rate healthy than was the soy oil, the Emory team found. “Those on soy oil had just marginal protection,” Holguin said, while “those on fish oil had a complete abolishment of the effect of the [smog] particles on the heart.”
Wow, “complete abolishment of the effect of the smog particles on the heart.” If you live in a city heavily plagued by smog and are concerned about the health effects, you should probably get yourself a bottle of pharmaceutical-grade fish oil!