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Heart failure

Three Different Ways to Lower Your Risk of Heart Failure

Thursday, October 09, 2008 by: John M. Yarlott
Tags: heart failure, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Scientists have discovered that an unbalanced ratio of omega-6 (n-6) and omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids may lead to heart failure and other dietary diseases. These acids are known as essential fatty acids (EFA) that are obtained from the foods we eat. They are metabolized and stored in tissue membranes as highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) [1].

The connection between foods and coronary heart disease (CHD)

The energy levels of tissue omega-6 and omega-3 HUFA have been measured in diverse groups of people and compared to the Mortality rates associated with those groups. It was found that heart failure rates are proportional to the percentage of n-6 long chain acids in the tissues of the study groups. An empirical formula was developed to estimate percentages of omega-6 in HUFA. [1] There are four variables used to predict risk in the formula: Omega-3 (n-3) and Omega-6 (n-6) short (18 carbon), and n-3 and n-6 long (20 and 22 carbons). When the formula is applied to a daily food plan the CHD risk factor in the range from 20% to 90% is obtained. Researchers have correlated these risk factors with CHD mortality rates for various diet types. Typical USA diets have CHD mortality rates of nearly 200 per 100,000 and the HUFA risk factor of 78%. The Japanese CHD mortality rates were 50 per 100,000 and a Tissue HUFA risk factor of 48%. The Mediterranean diet has a CHD mortality rate of 90 per 100,000 and a risk factor of 58%.

There are at least three ways to lower the CHD Mortality Rate associated with our diets:

1. Manage our daily meal plans with KIM-2 to replace high risk foods with lower risk foods.

2. Take fish oil supplements rich in the omega-3 fatty acids.

3. Take fish oil supplements and also reduce the quantities of high risk foods.

The Mediterranean diet is an example of making better food choices while the traditional Japanese diet is richer in EPA and DHA omega-3's.

The Kim-2 Diet Planning Program

A computer program named Keep it Managed (KIM-2) was written that uses data from the USDA Nutrition database and the above mentioned empirical formula. The program allows the selection of foods from the USDA database to create daily food plans. It calculates the CHD risk factor for each plan and allows the plan to be adjusted by making changes in the food selections and serving sizes. The program is available for downloading here [3].

High risk foods

The KIM-2 program was used to compare the effect of adding foods to a given meal plan. The plan chosen was a 1500 KCAL plan with an initial percent of the long 6 of 80%. Over 5,000 foods were tested by adding them to the base plan, one at a time and the change in percent long 6 was recorded. Each food was assigned a food group and the results were subtotaled by food group. It was found that the following food groups raised the percent long 6: all meats, eggs, margarines, and seafood from farms. All other food groups had little effect except for fish oil and seafood which significantly lowered the percent long 6.

Supplementing with fish oil

An example of the second option: supplement with fish oil, was tested using the KIM-2 software. If a Fish Oil supplement has 300 mg of n-3 per 1,000 mg capsule. Then 6.7 capsules would contain 2 g of n-3! The following table shows the predicted CHD risk factors and calculated mortality rates vs. number of these fish oil capsules per day.

Capsules -- % n-6 in 1500 kcal -- Mortality Rate/100,000

0 ----------------- 83.9 ----------------- 180

1 ----------------- 76.9 ----------------- 158

2 ----------------- 71.4 ----------------- 142

3 ----------------- 66.8 ----------------- 128

4 ----------------- 63.1 ----------------- 116

5 ----------------- 59.9 ----------------- 107

6 ----------------- 57.1 ----------------- 98

7 ----------------- 54.7 ----------------- 91

This table shows that 6 (1 g) capsules of Fish Oil per day could lower the CHD Mortality rate to about 98 per 100,000 people from about 180 per 100,000. A reduction of 45%! Adding Seafood to the diet would have similar results. People could use supplements in lieu of seafood and vice verse. The data in this table was obtained by using the KIM-2 program to obtain the % en n-6 long in total HUFA for various serving sizes of fish oil in a typical 80% 1500 KCAL diet plan. The results were correlated with the Mortality rates using the following formula: Mortality = 3.029*(%en n-6 long in total HUFA)-74.675 [1].
The dietary reference intakes (DRI) for n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are 0.6%-1.2% of the daily energy. For a 2,000 KCAL diet [4] that translates to 1.33-2.66 grams. Likewise for a 1500 KCAL diet the DRI translates to 1-2 grams n-3 per day. Approximately 10% of the total can come from HUFA n-3 and n-6.

Visit this website (http://www.foodandmortality.com) for more information, including a food table that was obtained by the addition of 1 Ounce (28.4 g) servings of each food in turn. The resulting % en HUFA in total HUFA is listed along with the % en for each of the four omegas: n-3 short, n-3 long, n-6 short, and n-6 long.


1. William E Lands: "Functional Foods in Primary Prevention or Nutraceuticals in Secondary Prevention", Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research Vol. 1, No.2, pp. X-X, 2003

2. Bill Lands: "A critique of Paradoxes in current advice on dietary lipids" (www.sciencedirect.com)

3. KIM-2 Free Software to Choose Foods, (http://efaeducation.nih.gov/sig/kim.html)

4. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (2002). Food and Nutritional Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academies.

About the author

John Yarlott developed his writing skills during his career as a Mechanical Engineer with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. His work included testing jet engines and writing the test reports for use by the design and management groups. He later worked at IBM as writer of guides for computer design. He ran technical symposiums and published the hundreds of technical reports on computer packaging. John was also a store systems engineer in IBM marketing where he wrote computer programs for customers that generated reports based on transaction data in the checkout terminals. Johnís last assignment before retiring was as a technical support engineer for IBMís database software. During retirement he wrote training manuals for Microsoft Office Products at Hill & Knowlton, a division of WPP. He wrote web based data acquisition programs that captured human resources data in a MS Access database. The firm had offices in 52 countries therefore using the Internet to communicate with the database in New York was a time saving solution. Now retired for the second time, John has turned his attention to web publishing about matters of his own interest including health, nutrition, food economics, and global energy on his personal website: http://jmyarlott.com .

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