Thursday, May 26, 2011


We have always known that fish is good for the heart, that fish oils, may reduce triglycerides, and thin the blood and may have anti-inflammatory properties. There is also some evidence to suggest that it may reduce sudden cardiac death.
There is a paper out in the on-line edition of Circulation-Heart Failure led by Dr Rashad J Belin of North Western University, Chicago, entitled "Fish intake and the risk of incident heart failure: The Women's Health Initiative ". This is an observational called the Women Health Initiative - Observational Study ( WHI-OS). They followed up for 10 years, 84,500 post menopausal females aged 50-79 ( mean age 63 years ), with regular Food Frequency Questionaires, and their medical history. Patients with AMIs were excluded.
After 10 years of follow-up, they found that there was a 30% reduction in heart failures in those females who ate broiled or baked fish, more then 5 times a week. The darker the fish, the better. So Mackerel is better then cod. They also found that those who had 1 or more servings of fried fish a week, had a 50% increase in incidence of heart failure. They have adjusted for all the know heart failure con-founders..
I suppose the bottom line is, broiled and baked fish 5 times a week is good to prevent heart failure, and fried fish should only be occasionally taken. I suppose some of you would reason that I will consume fish oil capsules, 1-2 gms a day. Well, the authors noted that broiled and baked fish is not quite the same as fish oil capsules, and they do not think that the results can be translated.
I suppose for us, the message would be take fried fish sparingly, and prefer broiled or baked fish, the deeper the sea and the darker the fish, the better. Of course, I am transposing American results to South East Asians. It would be nice, if we can organise a similar studies here in SE Asia too.

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