Adding Fish to Your Diet is a Good Idea
~ March 2001 No.124 ~
Once again omega-3 fatty acids are in the news. A team of researchers led by Dr. D. Mozaffarian recently presented findings at the Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention that indicated that in older women eating fish is good for your heart. Since 1988 this team has been following close to 4,000 women 65 years of age and older and have found that one meal of fish a week is enough to reduce the risk of fatal heart attack by 44% compared to women who don´t eat fish. This of course is an epidemiology study and, therefore, other unidentified factors could also be influencing the results.
A second study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed data in younger women (34-59 years of age) where a higher consumption of fish and omega-3 fatty acids were associated with a significant reduction in total stoke and lacunar infarction and a reduction (but not statistically significant) in thrombotic infarction.
Cold water fish are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Mackerel, herring, sardines and salmon contain the most, with lesser amounts in cod and shrimp.
The amount of omega-3 fatty acid needed each day depends on a person's levels of physical activity, stress, nutritional and disease state and body weight. Fish oils from dietary sources or capsules have been shown to reduce the pain, swelling and stiffness of arthritis. This may be due to the effects on the immune response and on prostaglandins, cytokines and leukotrienes which mediate the inflammatory processes involved in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis sufferers may have reduced medication needs if they take omega-3 fatty acids.
|Fish Type||omega-3 fatty acid|
|mackerel:||2.5 g /100g|
|herring:||1.6 g /100g|
|sardines:||2.5 g /100g|
|salmon:||1.8 g /100g|
|Cod:||0.3 g /100g|
|Shimp:||0.5 g /100g|
Iso, H., Rexrode, K.M., Stampfer, M,J., Manson, J.E., Colditz, G.A., Speizer, F.E., Hennekens, C.H., Willet, W.C.Intake of fish and omega-3 fatty acids and risk of stroke in women.
J. Amer. Med. Assoc. 2001,285:304-312