-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Eating fish, particularly
oily fish, a couple of times a week may help protect you against
stroke, but fish oil supplements don't have the same effect, a new
Researchers analyzed the results of 38 previous studies to
examine the association between fish consumption and the risk of
stroke or mini-stroke (know to doctors as transient ischemic
attack). The studies included nearly 800,000 people in 15
After adjusting for several risk factors, the researchers
concluded that people who ate two to four servings of oily fish per
week had a 6 percent lower risk of stroke or mini-stroke than those
who ate one or less servings per week. People who ate five or more
servings per week had a 12 percent lower risk.
Two servings per week of any fish was associated with a 4
percent reduced risk. However, fish oil supplements did
notreduce the risk of stroke or mini-stroke, according to a
team led by Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury, of the University of Cambridge, in
The study was published online Oct. 30 in the
Prior research has linked regular consumption of fish with a
reduced risk of coronary heart disease and current guidelines
recommend eating at least two portions of fish a week, preferably
an oily fish such as mackerel or sardines. This study shows that
eating fish can also reduce the risk of stroke, according to a
journal news release.
There are a number of possible reasons why eating fish can
benefit vascular health, the study authors said. It may be due to
interactions between a wide range of nutrients, such as vitamins
and essential amino acids, commonly found in fish.
Or it may be that eating more fish leads people to eat less red
meat and other foods that harm vascular health, or that higher fish
consumption may be an indicator of a generally healthier diet or
greater wealth, both of which are associated with better vascular
While the study found an association between increased fish
intake and lowered stroke risk, it could not prove a
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines how
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