Consuming freshwater fish may lower risk of heart disease

KUOPIO, FINLAND. A 15-week experiment involving 62 students was carried out to determine if a regular diet of freshwater fish affects coronary heart disease risk factors. The students were divided into three groups: a fish consumption group who made no other changes to their diet, a fish consumption group who also decreased their overall fat intake and a control group (19 students) who ate a typical western diet. The special diet consisted of one fish meal a day (in addition to the regular diet) and provided about 0.25 g/day of eicosapentaenoic acid and 0.55 g/day of docosahexaenoic acid.

Fish Consumption and Heart Disease

Serum cholesterol was found to decrease in fish eaters who also decreased their lipid intake but not in the other groups. Blood triglyceride levels decreased significantly in the fish consumption groups, but not in the control group. Levels of apolipoproteins A1 and B were lowered in both fish consumption groups as was the formation of thromboxane B2 during incubation of whole blood. In the fish consumption groups, the proportion of omega-3 fatty acids increased significantly in erythrocyte ghosts and platelets at the expense of omega-6 fatty acids. The results of the study support the contention that moderate fish consumption has a protective effect against coronary heart disease.
Agren, J.J., et al. Boreal freshwater fish diet modifies the plasma lipids and prostanoids and membrane.

Physician information: Cardiology continuing medical education courses that cover coronary artery disease risk are listed at

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