London, Oct 12: Lives of thousands of people suffering from heart disease could be saved every year if people ate more fish, a study by a British university has found.
The Omega-3 fish oils are far more powerful than previously thought at warding off heart disease, the Daily Express cited the study by the University of Reading as saying.
Eating just two or three portions of fish like sardines, salmon or mackerel every week or taking an oil supplement will do the job, the study said.
Earlier studies also showed that fish oils can dramatically cut the risk of death by slashing blood fat, and thereby reducing the chance of a blood clot.
The latest study found that fish oils have a direct impact on muscle cells that control the elasticity of blood vessels.
People who have suffered a heart attack are encouraged to eat more fish or take a fish oil capsule.
The researchers introduced small amounts of fish oils to meals containing saturated fat eaten by both men and women, and found that muscle elasticity was improved four-fold in women and two-fold in men.
The fish oils were so effective on women that they matched the benefits of L-arginine, an amino acid supplement taken for heart health.
The study was published in The Journal of Lipid Research.
“While our study found fish oils to be particularly beneficial for women they are also effective for men. Adding oily fish to your diet can help increase the elasticity of our blood vessels which is key to lowering blood pressure,” Christine Williams, who led the study, was quoted as saying by the British daily.