Monday, May 27, 2013

Eat Fish Might Prolong Your Life!

Eating fish is good for health. As recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA), people should consume every week two 3.5-ounce servings of fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and tuna, that are high in omega-3 fatty acid.

In a paper that was published on April 1, 2013’s in the journal ‘Annals of Internal Medicine’, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health reported that people aged 65 and older who eat fish might live an average of 2 years longer than people who do not consume the omega-3 fatty acids.

The study also showed that people with higher level of omega-3 fatty acids had 27 percent lower overall risk of dying and 35 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease, comparing to those who had lower levels of omega-3 fatty acid.

To determine whether there is any link between fish eating and risk of death, researchers scanned 16 years of data on about 2,700 American adults aged 65 or older. Those taking fish oil supplements were eliminated to avoid confusion over the use of supplements or dietary differences. During the 16-year of follow up, 1625 people died including 570 from cardiovascular disease.

Participants with highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood had the lowest risk of dying from any cause, and they lived an average of 2.2 years longer than those with low levels.

3 forms of omega-3 fatty acids were identified in the study. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) was most strongly associated with a lower risk of death from coronary heart disease, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) was strongly related to a lower risk of non-fatal heart attack, and DPA (docosapentaenoic acid) was most strongly linked to a lower risk of dying from a stroke.

Nevertheless, the researchers stressed that their study noted an association without establishing a cause-and-effect relationship. They could not determine if the omega-3 intake was directly responsible for the reduced risk of death or just a marker for a healthier lifestyle.

For example, people having the highest level of omega-3 also had consumed more fruit and vegetables than those having a lower level of omega-3. This also suggested that simply taking a fish oil supplement might not produce the same effect.

Those who are currently not fish eaters need not worry because they can always start some intake of fish and should be able to get most of the benefit for their blood level, according to researchers.

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