Peripheral artery disease can make your life miserable.
Every time you move, your legs hurt.
But that’s just the beginning…
Because of the pain, you become sedentary. So you gain weight and lose muscle. Your risk for a heart attack or a stroke increases.
If you’re a man, you suffer erectile dysfunction.
In severe cases, it can lead to chronic leg sores and, eventually, amputation.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) isn’t well known. But up to 20% of seniors have it.
PAD is characterized by narrowed arteries that reduce blood flow to your limbs. It’s caused by atherosclerosis, the same thing that can lead to a heart attack. The standard treatment for PAD is surgery to remove the artery blockage or blood thinning drugs.
The Natural Way to Fight Peripheral Artery Disease
But a study shows there may be a better way. It found that people with PAD are low in omega-3 fatty acids. And taking a fish oil supplement, with its omega-3 content, might prevent and treat PAD.
The study was published in the journal Lipids. Scientists compared the omega-3 index in 145 PAD patients to 34 control subjects without PAD.
The omega-3 index measures the amount of the omega-3 acids EPA and DHA that are attached to your blood cells.
The research team found that the omega-3 index was lower in PAD patients. For every 1% reduction in the omega-3 index, the odds of having PAD jumped by 39%.
The study concluded that omega-3s are beneficial to the cardiovascular system because they lower blood pressure and inflammation. This, in turn, reduces the atherosclerosis that causes PAD.
The Best Kind of Fish Oil Supplement
If you have leg pain or if you’ve been diagnosed with PAD, consider taking a quality fish oil supplement.
But choose wisely.
Most fish oils are made with a cheap, fast manufacturing process that yields something called an ethyl ester (EE). This kind of fish oil is less bioavailable. Labels of EE fish oil often say the product is derived from “marine oil concentrate.”
Instead, look for brands that contain the triglyceride form of fish oil. It should be noted on the label. It costs a bit more, but it’s much better absorbed by your body.
A high-quality fish oil will be relatively free of any fishy tastes or smells. The oil should relatively translucent and free of cloudiness.
You’re more likely to find quality fish oil supplements at health food stores and online than at drug stores and supermarkets.
If you have peripheral artery disease, talk to your doctor about whether fish oil is right for you.
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References https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/heart-health/are-you-at-risk-for-peripheral-artery-disease  https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/peripheral-artery-disease/about-peripheral-artery-disease-pad  https://aocs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/lipd.12140  https://omegaquant.com/what-is-the-omega-3-index/  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27692558  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/omega-3-supplement-guide#section4