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Omega-3s From Fish Vs. Pills Better at Maintaining Blood Pressure, University of Pennsylvania Study



3/6/2013 7:22:08 AM

Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish may have diverse health-promoting effects, potentially protecting the immune, nervous, and cardiovascular systems. But how the health effects of one such fatty acid — docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — works remains unclear, in part because its molecular signaling pathways are only now being understood. Toshinori Hoshi, PhD, professor of Physiology, at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues showed, in two papers out this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, how fish oils help lower blood pressure via vasodilation at ion channels. In vascular smooth muscle cells, such as those that line blood vessels, ion channels that span the outer membrane of a cell to let such ions as sodium, calcium, and potassium in and out, are critical to maintaining proper vessel pressure.

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