Thursday, August 6, 2009

Omega-3: Good for Kidney Patients

Over the years, I've learned a lot from my fellow transplantees. One of the more important things they introduced me to was fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids. They would narrate how it has helped them and how their docs recommended it. Here's another article that supports their point.

There is mounting evidence that omega-3 fatty acids from fish or fish oil supplements not only help prevent cardiovascular diseases in healthy individuals, but also reduce the incidence of cardiac events and mortality in patients with existing heart disease.


Dietary intake of fish oil can also decrease the risk of atherosclerosis, arrhythmias, heart attack, sudden cardiac death and even health failure. Dr. Lavie adds that although there is a smaller benefit in reducing heart failure death—9 percent mortality benefit in a major recent randomized controlled trial—this is still very impressive given patients' grave prognosis.


Based on these findings, and because the body does not produce its own essential fatty acids, the authors recommend that healthy individuals should consume 500 mg daily of omega-3 fish oil containing EPA and DHA, and people with known heart disease or heart failure aim for at least 800 to 1,000 mg daily.

"There are clear health and heart benefits associated with increasing one's intake of foods that are rich in Omega-3s, including oily fish like salmon, sardines, trout, herring, and oysters"
One of the biggest problems caused by chronic kidney dysfunction is heart disease. One reason for this is that when kidney function declines, its ability to regulate our blood pressure diminishes, resulting in high blood pressure.

Another reason is, as kidney disease worsens, cholesterol and trigyceride levels increase. Upping the risk of heart disease further.

Even after transplantation, I noticed that my doctors keep a tight watch on my lipid levels. I was told that a side effect of some anti-rejection drugs is increased lipid levels.

Omega-3 fatty acids provide good protection from cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that it helps lower cholesterol levels and trigycerides. Another thing worth noting is that omega-3 reduces inflammation that is present in people with kidney disease.

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