Eating fish may not prevent heart failure

October 7, 2009 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Eating fish may not prevent heart failure

While fish does appear to help protect against heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases, a new Dutch study finds it doesn't seem to guard against the development of heart failure.

As opposed to cardiac arrest, heart failure is a degenerative condition in which the structure of the heart impairs its ability to supply blood to the body.

For this study, a research team collected data on 5,299 men and women who participated in the Rotterdam Study. The researchers wanted to see if the omega-3 fatty acids in fish could protect people from developing heart failure.

Both types of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) have been linked to reduced blood pressure, heart rate, arrhythmias and triglyceride levels, all of which are associated with risk of heart attack and heart disease - but not heart failure.  

After 12 years of follow-up, the researchers found that 669 people developed heart failure. Overall, eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids was not significantly related to developing heart failure in either men or women.

There did seem to be a small benefit in the reduction of heart failure among diabetics who ate the most fish, noted the lead researcher.  

Fish intake may not influence risk of heart failure, but there is strong evidence that it protects against myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death and stroke. Therefore, it's still a good idea to consume fish twice per week, in particular fatty fish like salmon, herring and mackerel.

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.