Eating this kind of fish every week could be a game-changer for your health

In new data published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, researchers from McMaster University posit that consuming oily fish twice a week can protect against cardiovascular disease among high-risk individuals.

Roughly 121.5 million adults suffer from cardiovascular disease, and most health systems identify poor diet as a primary risk factor.

Oily fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, is rich in both common omega-3 fatty acids ( EPA and DHA).  Participants involved in the new study who habitually consumed oily fish reduced their risk for experiencing heart attacks and strokes by approximately 16% compared with those who did not eat oily fish.

Although high-risk individuals seem to enjoy the most pronounced benefits from regular oily fish intake, the researchers believe otherwise healthy individuals could reap similar benefits to some degree.

 “In this analysis of 4 international cohort studies of 191 558 people from 58 countries on 6 continents, a lower risk of major CVD and total mortality was associated with higher fish intake of at least 175 g (2 servings) weekly among high-risk individuals or patients with vascular disease, but not in general populations without vascular disease; a similar pattern of results was observed for sudden cardiac death. Oily fish but not other types of fish were associated with greater benefits,” the authors wrote in the new report.

“Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated by multilevel Cox regression separately within each study and then pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. This analysis was conducted from January to June 2020. The consumption of fish (especially oily fish) should be evaluated in randomized trials of clinical outcomes among people with vascular disease.”

According to the authors, trout, salmon, sardines, anchovies, pilchards, kippers, eels, whitebait, mackerel, herring, and tuna provide the most abundant sources of omega-3.

Whitefish, on the other hand, which is less oily and therefore distributes omega-3 less effectively throughout tissue, is a good source for low-fat protein and minerals.

Both whitefish and oily fish are excellent ways to receive vitamin B12 and vitamin D, Iron, in addition to other minerals like selenium, zinc, and iodine.

“There is a significant protective benefit of fish consumption in people with cardiovascular disease,” says lead co-author Andrew Mente, associate professor of research methods, evidence, and impact at McMaster, in a media statement.

“This study has important implications for guidelines on fish intake globally. It indicates that increasing fish consumption and particularly oily fish in vascular patients may produce a modest cardiovascular benefit.

Omega-3s are also integral for optimal eye and bone health, liver fat reduction, and inflammation.

Independently conducted research has suggested that those who receive sufficient amounts of omega-3’s evidence a decreased risk for cancer and the development of mental disorders like anxiety and depression.

Overall, most health organizations recommend a minimum of 250–500 mg combined EPA and DHA each day for healthy adults. Based on the findings from the new report, clinicians may advise populations suffering from cardiovascular illness to increase their daily intake.

“This is by far the most diverse study of fish intake and health outcomes in the world and the only one with sufficient numbers with representation from high, middle and low income countries from all inhabited continents of the world,” concluded study coauthor Dr. Salim Yusuf, professor of medicine at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.