American Heart Association says omega-6 fatty acids can improve heart health
DALLAS The American Heart Association on Tuesday highlighted science advisory published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association touting the benefits of omega-6 fatty acids to heart health.
The association recommends that people aim to incorporate at least 5% to 10% of their daily calories from omega-6 fatty acids. Most Americans actually get enough of these oils in the foods they are currently eating, including nuts, cooking oils and salad dressings, the advisory reported.
Recommended daily servings of omega-6 depend on physical activity level, age and gender, but range from 12 to 22 g per day.
Omega-6, and the similarly named omega-3 fatty acids (found in fattier fish such as tuna, mackerel and salmon), are called polyunsaturated fatty acids and can have health benefits when consumed in the recommended amounts, especially when used to replace saturated fats or trans fats in the diet.
Omega-6 and omega-3 PUFA play a crucial role in heart and brain function and in normal growth and development. PUFA are “essential” fats that your body needs but can’t produce, so you must get them from food.
“Of course, as with any news about a single nutrient, it’s important to remember to focus on an overall healthy dietary pattern — one nutrient or one type of food isn’t a cure-all,” stated William Harris, lead author of the advisory. “Our goal was simply to let Americans know that foods containing omega-6 fatty acids can be part of a healthy diet and can even help improve your cardiovascular risk profile.”
There has been some debate within the nutrition community regarding the benefits of omega-6 based on the belief that they may promote inflammation, thus increasing cardiovascular risk, AHA noted. “That idea is based more on assumptions and extrapolations than on hard data,” Harris said.
Abbott to commence cash tender offer for Advanced Medical Optics
ABOTT PARK, Ill. Abbott will commence on Tuesday a cash tender offer for all outstanding shares of common stock of Advanced Medical Optics at $22 per share on Jan. 27, in a deal worth approximately $2.8 billion, the company announced Monday.
Abbott and AMO announced the proposed merger earlier this month. “With AMO, Abbott is enhancing and strengthening its diverse mix of medical device businesses and gaining a leadership position in another large and growing segment,” stated Miles White, Abbott chairman and CEO, in announcing the deal Jan. 12. “Additionally, Abbott’s significant global presence will help drive growth opportunities for this business, especially in international markets, where favorable demographics are driving demand for advanced eye care procedures and products.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including antitrust clearances. Abbott and AMO expect the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2009.
Patients give OTC heartburn medications positive reviews in new study
WASHINGTON New research from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and The Nielsen Company indicates 94% patient satisfaction with available over-the-counter heartburn medications and estimates that OTC heartburn therapies save patients an average total of $174 each in office visits and medication costs annually, the two organizations announced Monday.
In addition, CHPA and Nielsen attribute $757 million in annual savings to the U.S. healthcare system based on fewer office visits — all good news for millions of Americans who suffer from heartburn as well as an overburdened healthcare system.
“This is wonderful news for consumers. This study points to a high level of satisfaction plus costs savings among those who turn to OTC heartburn medicines for symptom relief,” stated Linda Suydam, president, CHPA. “The overall findings reflect the evolution of heartburn treatments as the availability of effective over-the-counter treatment options have expanded over the past 15 years.”
“The savings these OTC medicines provide to the U.S. healthcare system are equally significant,” stated Jim Mansfield, The Nielsen Company and one of the study’s authors. “Ongoing research into health outcomes and the cost of lost work time and misdiagnosis holds the potential to identify additional — yet substantial — savings.”
The study, “Benefits of Over-the-Counter Heartburn Medication to Consumers and the Healthcare System,” was conducted in 2008 and is based on online and written survey responses from nearly 10,000 U.S. consumers who use OTC heartburn medication.
The research was conducted using NielsenHealth’s Upper GI Ailment Panel data related to consumer satisfaction with the full range OTC heartburn remedies, including antacids, H2-blockers and proton pump inhibitors. Researchers used a combination of consumer data compiled by Nielsen and provider data compiled by WoltersKluwer Health’s Dynamic Claims to estimate cost savings.