Can eating fish prolong life?
What we eat is more important than just calculating calories consumed. There is perhaps no better illustration than a Journal of Internal Medicine study where consumption of fish and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids was associated with lower risks of early death.
In the study of some 240,000 men and 180,000 women, over 16 years, 54,230 men and 30,882 women died. Higher fish and long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intakes were significantly associated with lower total mortality. Comparing the highest with lowest quintiles of fish intake, men had 9% lower total mortality, 10% lower cardiovascular disease mortality, 6% lower cancer mortality, 20% lower respiratory disease mortality, and 37% lower chronic liver disease mortality, while women had 8% lower total mortality, 10% lower cardiovascular disease mortality, and 38% lower Alzheimer’s disease mortality.
Of course, how food is prepared is another key issue, with fried fish consumption not related to mortality in men, whereas it was associated with increased risks of mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease in women.
Long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intake was associated with 15% and 18% lower cardiovascular disease mortality in men and women, respectively, when comparing the highest and lowest quintiles.
NOTE – EAT THE FISH: research from the University of East Anglia has found Omega 3 supplements have little or no effect on the risk of heart disease, stroke or death. Indeed, Omega 3 supplements were found to offer little, if any, benefit.
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