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The beneficial effects of omega 3 fatty acids have been well documented. Now another recent study has brought worth the positive health effects of it. However, the reduction of stroke disappears in case of consumption of fried fish and fish sandwiches.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids Present in Fish may Reduce the Risk of Stroke

According to the study, the omega 3 fatty acids present in fish may reduce the risk of stroke. Apart from the omega 3 fatty acids several other nutrients present in fish have also been found to be useful in improving your cardiovascular health.

The study, published in the latest issue of the journal “Stroke”, was led by Susanna Larsson and Nicola Orsini of Sweden's Karolinska Institute. They conducted a dose response meta- analysis of 15 earlier studies done in the United States, Europe, Japan and China to find out the relationship between consumption of fish and development of stroke. The research included 383,838 participants between the ages of 30 and 103, and covered 9360 stroke events.

The researchers found that consuming at least three servings of fish per week reduced the total risk of developing a stroke by 6%. Out of the fifteen studies, nine were taken up further to study the sub types of strokes in the participants. The researchers found that the relative risk of developing both an ischemic stroke as well as a hemorrhagic stroke were 0.90. The most important finding of this meta- analysis was that fish consumption is inversely proportional to the risk of stroke.

Reduction in the Risk of Stroke Disappears in case of Consumption of Fried Fish

According to the researchers of the aforementioned study, people who eat more fish are 12% less likely to have a stroke than those who eat less fish. However, the reduction in the risk of stroke disappears in case of consumption of fried fish and fish sandwiches. Stroke benefits are more evident in people who graduate from no fish or little fish to moderate fish consumption per week. The benefits are less evident in people who are already eating a moderate amount of fish per week and start consuming it even more.

The most advantageous nutrient present in fish is omega 3 fatty acid. It lowers the risk of stroke through its positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol. However, other nutrients like vitamin D, selenium and several types of proteins present in fish may also have a beneficial effect on stroke.

According to the American Heart Association, one should consume at least two servings of fish every week. Fatty fish like salmon and herring are particularly rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids.

According to Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a Harvard School of Public Health epidemiologist whose research was included in the analysis, apart from consuming fish, people should try to consume a healthier diet. They should exercise more often and be educated enough to discern what is good or bad for their health. They should visit their doctors more often for a health check up so that any clogging of vessels is detected at an earlier stage, before it increases to something more serious like a heart attack or a stroke.

  • “Fish Consumption and the Risk of Stroke: A Dose –Response Meta- Analysis”, by Susanna C. Larsson, Nicola Orsini: Stroke, published online before print September 8, 2011, accessed on September 27, 2011
  • “Can eating fish lower the risk of strokes?” by Genevra Pittman, Reuters, published on September 25, 2011, accessed on September 27, 2011
  • Photo courtesy of mcrosacci on Flickr: