Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Eating fatty fish may benefit older people

It's almost gospel now, or as gospel as this stuff gets, that eating Omega-3 fatty acids--as found in certain fish--is good for preventing heart disease.

But now we have new info based on blood tests of what is in the blood (rather than reported consumption) that higher blood levels of Omega-3 may reduce heart disease and death for people over 65.

The Harvard researchers looked at 2,692 randomly selected people with the average age of 74 for 14 years. All were healthy and none took fish oil supplements.

Over the 14 yrs, 1,625 of them died. But those with the highest blood levels of Omega-3 had the lowest mortality and lived 2.2 yrs longer.

Of course, a lot of variables had to be teased out, but the relationship seemed to hold true.

There were also fewer deaths from stroke with the highest levels of Omega-3, but this was not statistically significant.

The researchers suggested eating 3.5 oz of farmed salmon a week or 5 ounces of anchovies or herring, or 15 to 18 oz of cod or catfish.

It doesn't taste too bad, either. Do fishsticks count?

What about supplements--this never proves as good, but as the researchers said, couldn't hurt.

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