Today’s Headlines: More Benefits of Fish Oil, The Food That Might Be Hurting Your Kidneys, and New Research on Why You Shouldn’t Smoke

Fish oil may help your heart heal after a heart attack. While omega-3 fats are generally recommended as a way to prevent heart disease, new research has found that it could help after a heart attack too. “Normally after a heart attack, part of the heart is starved of oxygen, and that portion never recovers. The remaining healthy tissue starts to compensate for the compromised tissue, but has to work harder to maintain the heart’s normal pumping function. Over time, this overworking can lead to scar tissue and start to restrict even the healthy tissue’s ability to do its job. Kwong and his team found that people taking the high dose of omega-3 fats showed 6% less of this decline in heart function…[and] the people who showed the highest blood levels of the omega-3 fats …showed the greatest reduction in scarring — 13% — compared to those with the lowest levels.” While the study was only done on 360 participants, the results look promising. (Time)

Eating red meat may be silently hurting your kidneys. A recently-released study suggests a correlation between consuming red meat and a higher risk of kidney disease. “The study team found that participants who ate the largest amount of red meat had about a 40 percent greater risk of developing kidney failure compared with people consuming the lowest amounts of meat. However, the researchers didn’t find any associations between kidney health and intake of poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products or legumes. In fact, they calculated that substituting some other source of protein for one daily serving of red meat reduced the risk of kidney failure by up to 62 percent.” The study did not directly prove that red meat causes kidney problems but the researchers emphasized moderate red meat consumption. (Reuters)

The development of a brain hemorrhage could be high if you’re a woman who smokes heavily. A 65,000-person study found that the risk for “subarachnoid hemorrhage — bleeding inside the lining of the brain” is high in smokers. “The researchers tracked participants [every five years since 1972] until the end of 2011. During that time, there were 492 subarachnoid hemorrhages, 266 of them among women. Smokers were more likely to suffer a hemorrhage, especially women. Compared with nonsmokers, women who smoked more than 20 cigarettes per day were eight times as likely to suffer a brain hemorrhage, and men who smoked that much were almost three times as likely to suffer a hemorrhage. Former smokers had lower hemorrhage risk than current smokers.” The study contributes to ongoing research that shows how dangerous smoking can be for the body. (Washington Post)