a study to assess the relationship between fish intake and risk of
cerebrovascular disease. Couple of weekly portions of oily fish can help ward
off stroke, reveal study results.
believed that eating oily fish can significantly reduce risk of stroke but fish
oil supplements do not provide similar effects. Fish contains omega 3 fatty
acids and closely related to decreased threat of cerebrovascular ailments.
The scientists recommend eating two portions of oily fishes such as sardines
and mackerel, which will help in lowering the risk of cerebrovascular diseases.
Prof. Chowdhury along
with colleagues analyzed the outcome of 38 studies to evaluate the association
of fish intake and risk of mini-stroke or stroke. About 800,000 people in 15
countries were involved in these 38 studies. People with established
cardiovascular diseases were also included in these studies. Dietary
questionnaires were used to assess the intake of fish; omega 3 fatty acid was
identified by blood markers and the use of fish oil supplements was recorded.
During the study about 4,817 cerebrovascular events were noticed.
observed that two to four fish servings per week resulted in moderate but 6
percent reduced risk of cerebrovascular risk. It was also seen that those who
took five or more fish servings per week, had 12 percent lower risk of
An increase of two
servings a week resulted in 4 percent reduced risk of cerebrovascular diseases
while fish oil supplements and omega 3 fatty acid level were not considerably
related with altered risk of cerebrovascular ailments. The scientists said that
there are various reasons accounting for the positive impact of consuming fish
on vascular health for instance vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids
present in fish help in reducing the risk of cerebrovascular diseases.
Fish eating provides
better benefits as compared to red meat that are harmful to vascular health.
High intake of fish is concerned with healthy diet and better socioeconomic
status. White fish and oily fish differ largely in the way they are cooked.
White fish is generally deep fried and battered thereby adding harmful fats and
oily fish is cooked with less oil and fat.
The scientists were of
the opinion that there might be other hidden factors responsible for the
results. They concluded by saying, they reinforce a potentially modest
beneficial role of fish intake in the cause of cerebrovascular disease".
Prof. Chowdhury added
that the study findings are in sync with existing dietary guidelines that favor
fish consumption for all and consumption of fish to individuals with high-risk
heart ailments or pre-existing diseases. The researchers advocated the view
that 'future nutritional guidelines should be principally food-based'. The
study is obviously not a ringing endorsement of fish supplement and the
researchers said the outcomes "reinforce a potentially modest beneficial role
of fish intake in the cause of cerebrovascular disease."
The scientists from
the Division of Human Nutrition at Wageningen University proposed, in the
editorial accompanying the BMJ, that although it would be advisable for
patients to eat one or two servings of fish per week and this can reduce their
risk cardiovascular diseases, the benefits are surely small as compared to
other measures taken by patients for improvising their overall wellness.
The study was
published in BMJ 2012.
Association between fish consumption, long chain
omega 3 fatty acids, and risk of cerebrovascular disease: systematic review and
meta-analysis; Rajiv Chowdhury et al; BMJ 2012