Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, commonly found in marine and plant oils, could help limit damage caused by smoking, says a new study from Greece.
The study assessed the effect of four-week oral treatment with two grams daily of Omega-3 fatty acids on arterial health of cigarette smokers.
The results showed that short-term treatment with the fish oil improves arterial stiffness and minimises the acute smoking-induced damage to arterial elasticity.
Omega-3 fatty acids are fats commonly found in marine and plant oils. In nutrition, polyunsaturated fat, or polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), are fatty acids in which more than one carbon-carbon double bond exists within the representative molecule.
"These findings suggest that Omega-3 fatty acids inhibit the detrimental effects of smoking on arterial function, which is an independent marker of cardiovascular risk," said cardiologist Gerasimos Siasos from the University of Athens Medical School.
Furthermore, the American Heart Association recommends that people without documented history of coronary heart disease should consume a variety of fish (preferably oily - rich in Omega-3 fatty acids) at least twice per week, added Siasos.
"The World Heart Federation strongly encourages all smokers to quit," said Kathryn Taubert, its chief science officer. "The only way to protect your body from the harmful effects of tobacco is to stop smoking. We encourage all people, both smokers and non-smokers, to eat healthy diets, which includes foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids," a statement said.
These findings were presented at the World Congress of Cardiology in Dubai.