Fish Belong on Frontline of Heart Disease Fight

Harvard Doctor says Seafood should be Medicine, Not Just Dinner

July 08, 2008 Washington The July issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports on evidence that fish and its omega-3 fatty acids should be considered more than just a healthy part of a diet, but among the most important treatments for coronary heart disease (CHD) and sudden cardiac death (SCD).

modest consumption of fish or fish oil, together with smoking cessation and regular moderate physical activity, should be among the first-line treatments for prevention of CHD death and SCD, writes Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian.

The in-depth review concludes the strength and consistence of the evidence shows eating oily fish (i.e., farmed salmon, anchovies, and herring) about twice per week can cut risk of dying from a heart attack by 36 percent. Alternatively, the study suggests people can eat less-oily fish more often to meet their omega-3 needs.

As it pertains to heart health, the report also addresses the issue of contaminants in fish and offers a doctors perspective on concernsor lack there of– about mercury.

Any potential health risks of contaminants in fish are substantially outweighed by cardiovascular benefits of fish consumption, writes Dr. Mozaffarian.

As nutrition professionals, we look for consensus among a sea of studies, said Jennifer Wilmes a dietitian at the National Fisheries Institute, and this review positions seafood as an indisputable part of preventing the number one cause of death in the US.

For more than 60 years, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members have provided American families with the variety of sustainable seafood essential to a healthy diet. For more information visit:

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Gavin Gibbons