Omega-3 rich fish lowers heart disease risk

July 30, 2008 in Healthy Eating, Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Omega-3 rich fish lowers heart disease risk

Yet another study has found that eating more oily fish containing omega-3 fatty acids can lower a man's risk of developing heart disease.

In this new research, scientists compared the omega-3 rich fish intake of 868 Japanese men living in Japan to American and Japanese men living in America. Blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids were measured and correlated to rates of atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque inside arteries, leads to a narrowing of the arteries which can cause heart attacks and strokes.

The men who lived in Japan and ate the traditional Japanese diet had twice the blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids compared to their peers who lived in the U.S. and ate the standard American diet.  They ate about 3 ounces (85 g) of fish every day, while their Americans counterparts ate fish only twice a week at best.

The Japanese men who had a high intake omega-3 rich fish had significantly lower rates of atherosclerosis compared to the American men who ate fish less frequently, according to this report published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Japanese men living in America had the same rates of atherosclerosis as other American men, leading researchers to believe that the fewer cases of heart disease in the Japanese was likely due to differences in the omega-3 content of their diets - as opposed to genetic factors .

Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include: salmon, Artic char, mackerel, tuna, Chilean sea bass, sardines, herring and trout. Health Canada recommends eating at least two servings of these types of fish each week.

One Food Guide serving of fish is 2.5 ounces (75 g) or one-half cup (125 ml). For recipes with omega-3 rich fish, check out our July 2008 Featured Food.


All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.