For Those Who DO NOT Eat Fish...
By Kevin DiDonato MS, CSCS, CES
Every cell in your body is being attacked.
But there IS something you can DO ABOUT IT.
Every day, your body may be getting attacked by free radicals--molecules that cause inflammation and that also damage the cells in YOUR BODY.
Western diets, which are known to be high in fat, sugar-containing foods and with high-fat meat, could spell trouble for some VERY IMPORTANT cells in your VEINS and ARTERIES.
Damage to YOUR endothelial cells can potentially put you at RISK for developing diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or worse, CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE.
And you would be DEAD wrong not to increase your INTAKE of FISH, DHA, and EPA.
Let me explain…
These are specialized cells that line the walls in ALL of your veins and arteries.
They protect you by allowing blood to flow freely without interruption, which makes it easier for your cells to get the nutrients it needs.
These specialized cells line every inch of your circulatory system, and they play a major role in inflammation and vascular homeostasis.
High Sugar and High Fat Meals
A meal full of sugar and fat may increase your production of free radicals.
And these free radicals race along your veins and arteries looking to steal a stable molecule from the healthy cells.
They may bump into the walls of your arteries which causes damage, which research suggests, could lead to inflammation.
Your endothelial cells are responsible for the release of different factors geared to maintaining normal endothelial function.
Your endothelial cells release nitric oxide, von Willebrand factors,
and adhesion molecules, which all contribute to vascular homeostasis
But when inflammation is present, your endothelial cells reduce the output of nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide, a powerful molecule, is responsible for keeping your veins and arteries open, allowing blood to flow freely without interruption.
And Von Willebrand factor is responsible for blood clot formation.
Decreased levels of nitric oxide could cause constriction of your arteries, therefore leading to high blood pressure.
With an increase of von Willebrand factor, some studies show, could lead to an increase in platelet accumulation on your endothelial wall.
Constricted blood flow plus platelet accumulation could result in DEADLY consequences.
You may experience HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE or platelets breaking off, which could lead to a HEART ATTACK or even DEATH.
Fish, DHA, and EPA To The Rescue!
Western diets typically consist of refined sugars, highly processed meat, and high fat foods.
Depending on the exact foods YOU eat, you could reduce inflammation and lower your risk for developing heart disease.
A diet full of fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, poultry, and whole grains
have been shown to reduce your risk for developing cardiovascular disease
But here's the BIG news: FISH may be the MOST IMPORTANT nutrient for you to eat.
Regular fish consumption, research suggests, reduces endothelial dysfunction and could reduce inflammation.
The reason: tho all-powerful long chain omega-3 fatty acids.
Long chain omega-3 fatty acids, like DHA and EPA, can be powerful fighters against inflammation and may enable your body to return to normal endothelial function.
A newly published research study showed that regular fish consumption--in combination with DHA and EPA--could play a large role in lowering inflammation and improving endothelial function.
The study included over 300 people who consumed diets with fish, DHA, and EPA for a period of three months.
They tested these individuals in the year 2000 and again 6 years later.
The mean age of the participants was 36.
They showed that those who included more fish, DHA, and EPA, showed significant IMPROVEMENTS in endothelial function.
Also, it reduced INFLAMMATION markers, specifically interleukin-6.
Only the combination of fish, and DHA and EPA changed endothelial function
and reduced inflammation
They noticed that people who didn’t eat FISH were 2.7 TIMES more likely to have increased endothelial dysfunction scores.
And MODERATE FISH INTAKE also showed a 1.9 TIMES greater risk than people who consumed 200 g/week of fish, EPA, and DHA.
They also noted that fatty fish consumption showed SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER dysfunction scores than lean fish.
Fatty fish have been shown to have increased levels of
DHA and EPA
Obese adolescents, who could have increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases linked to inflammation, also showed some pretty DRAMATIC results.
The researchers noted that obese children who consumed fish, also significantly reduced inflammation markers and also improved endothelial function.
All this was just by INCREASING DHA, EPA, and fish intake for ONLY 3 MONTHS!
Here’s To Our Fish Friends
Endothelial cells are very important cells, as they maintain vascular health and homeostasis.
But even though they are extremely important, these cells are not immune to damage caused by free radicals.
In order to maintain optimal vascular health, it is vitally important that you increase your fish intake and essential fats, like EPA and DHA and avoid processed and refined foods, meats, and foods high in trans-fats.
A diet including healthy foods, plenty of fish, and increased EPA and DHA, research shows, could reduce inflammation and decrease endothelial dysfunction.
NEXT: Here Is An Easy Way To Include More DHA And EPA Into Your Day >>
Van Bussel BC, Henry RM, Schalkwijk CG, Ferreira I, Feskens EJ, Streppel MT, Smulders YM, Twisk JW, Stehouwer CD. Fish consumption in healthy adults is associated with decreased circulating biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction and inflammation during a 6-year follow-up. J Nutr 2011;141:1719-1725. [Pubmed]