Category Archives: Fish

Higher Plasma Levels of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Linked to Lower Rate of Heart Failure

Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids

Cold-water fatty fish are a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, one of which is EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).

Here’s the abstract from JACC: Heart Failure:

Objectives

The aim of this study was to determine if plasma eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) abundance (%EPA) is associated with reduced hazard for primary heart failure (HF) events in the MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) trial.

Background

Clinical trials suggest that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω3 PUFAs) prevent sudden death in coronary heart disease and HF, but this is controversial. In mice, the authors demonstrated that the ω3 PUFA EPA prevents contractile dysfunction and fibrosis in an HF model, but whether this extends to humans is unclear.

Methods

In the MESA cohort, the authors tested if plasma phospholipid EPA predicts primary HF incidence, including HF with reduced ejection fraction (EF) (EF <45%) and HF with preserved EF (EF ≥45%) using Cox proportional hazards modeling.

Results

A total of 6,562 participants 45 to 84 years of age had EPA measured at baseline (1,794 black, 794 Chinese, 1,442 Hispanic, and 2,532 white; 52% women). Over a median follow-up period of 13.0 years, 292 HF events occurred: 128 HF with reduced EF, 110 HF with preserved EF, and 54 with unknown EF status. %EPA in HF-free participants was 0.76% (0.75% to 0.77%) but was lower in participants with HF at 0.69% (0.64% to 0.74%) (p = 0.005). Log %EPA was associated with lower HF incidence (hazard ratio: 0.73 [95% confidence interval: 0.60 to 0.91] per log-unit difference in %EPA; p = 0.001). Adjusting for age, sex, race, body mass index, smoking, diabetes mellitus, blood pressure, lipids and lipid-lowering drugs, albuminuria, and the lead fatty acid for each cluster did not change this relationship. Sensitivity analyses showed no dependence on HF type.

Conclusions

Higher plasma EPA was significantly associated with reduced risk for HF, with both reduced and preserved EF. (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis [MESA]; NCT00005487)

Source: Predicting Risk for Incident Heart Failure With Omega-3 Fatty Acids | JACC: Heart Failure

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: All my diets recommend cold-water fatty fish.

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com

2 Comments

Filed under Fish, Heart Disease

Diabetes Care Consensus Panel Recommends Fish

Cold-water fatty fish loaded with omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, trout, sardines, herring, and mackerel, but not goldfish

“The recommendation for the general public to eat a serving of fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times per week is also appropriate for people with diabetes.”

Source: Nutrition Therapy for Adults With Diabetes or Prediabetes: A Consensus Report | Diabetes Care

That’s been my recommendation to patients since 2007.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Conquer Diabetes and Prediabetes, Steve Parker MD

Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com

3 Comments

Filed under Fish

New Systematic Review Concludes Omega-3 Fatty Acids Have NO EFFECT On Cardiovascular Disease and Longevity

Conquer Diabetes and Prediabetes, Steve Parker MD

Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids

That headline is the conclusion of a Cochrane systematic review of the evidence. As you read the summary below, be aware that the main omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-lenolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

From Cochrane Library:

Increasing EPA and DHA has little or no effect on all‐cause deaths and cardiovascular events (high‐quality evidence) and probably makes little or no difference to cardiovascular death, coronary deaths or events, stroke, or heart irregularities (moderate‐quality evidence, coronary events are illnesses of the arteries which supply the heart). EPA and DHA slightly reduce serum triglycerides and raise HDL (high‐quality evidence).

Eating more ALA (for example, by increasing walnuts or enriched margarine) probably makes little or no difference to all‐cause or cardiovascular deaths or coronary events but probably slightly reduce cardiovascular events, coronary mortality and heart irregularities (moderate/low‐quality evidence). Effects of ALA on stroke are unclear as the evidence was of very low quality.

There is evidence that taking omega‐3 capsules does not reduce heart disease, stroke or death. There is little evidence of effects of eating fish. Although EPA and DHA reduce triglycerides, supplementary omega‐3 fats are probably not useful for preventing or treating heart and circulatory diseases. However, increasing plant‐based ALA may be slightly protective for some heart and circulatory diseases.

Source: Omega‐3 fatty acids for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease – Abdelhamid, AS – 2018 | Cochrane Library

These findings are contrary to my views. I’m not sure who’s right. I still aim for cold-water fatty fish consumption twice a week.

Steve Parker M.D.

Click pic to buy book at Amazon.com

2 Comments

Filed under Fat in Diet, Fish, Heart Disease

With All the Pollutants In Fish, Is it Still a Good Idea to Eat Them?

Dead whole fish aren't very appealing to many folks

Dead whole fish aren’t very appealing to many folks

Probably so. Mercury is the key pollutant people think about when considering polluted fish. Mercury toxicity isn’t on the list of top 10 killers in the U.S., but heart disease is.

Heart disease is #1 on the list of top causes of death, followed by cancer and chronic lower respiratory tract disease. “Heart disease” is a broad category; the primary killer is heart attacks. (Following heart disease as leading killer is cancer. Sadly, suicide is tenth leading cause of death. If you’re considering it, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline now.)

Eating fish regularly seems to reduce your risk of heart attack. I favor the cold-water fatty fish like salmon, trout, herring, and sardines.

I quote the New York Times:

“Numerous studies have found that people who eat fish on a regular basis are less likely to die of a heart attack than those who don’t eat it or eat it less than once a month, and a 2006 Harvard review concluded that eating one to two servings of fish rich in omega-3s every week cut the risk of dying of a heart attack by one-third.”

Source: Why Is Fish Good for You? Because It Replaces Meat? – The New York Times

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Click for ideas on reducing your risk of cancer.

3 Comments

Filed under Fish

Seafood Linked to Lower Alzheimer Dementia Risk in Those Genetically Predisposed

…according to an article at the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study involved Chicago-area residents who had provided information about their eating habits. After death, their brains were biopsied, looking for typical pathological findings of Alzheimers Disease.

fresh salmon and lobsters

Rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, sardines, herring, trout, and mackerel

Participants who ate seafood at least once a week had fewer Alzheimers lesions in their brains, but only if they were carriers of a particular gene the predisposes to Alzheimers. The gene is called apolipoprotein E or APOE ε4.

You’ve heard that seafood may be contaminated with mercury, right? The seafood eaters in this study indeed had higher brain levels of mercury, but it didn’t cause any visible brain damage.

The Mediterranean diet, relatively rich in seafood, has long been linked to a lower risk of dementia.

A weakness of the study is that the researchers didn’t report results of clinical testing for dementia in these participants before they died. You can have microscopic evidence of Alzheimers disease on a biopsy, yet no clinically diagnosis of dementia.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Comments Off on Seafood Linked to Lower Alzheimer Dementia Risk in Those Genetically Predisposed

Filed under Dementia, Fish

1 in 5 Seafood Samples Is Incorrectly Labeled

Wish I were here

Wish I were here

Fraudulent labeling of fish and other seafood is a problem. It matters to me because I advocate frequent consumption of cold-water fatty fish as healthful. It’s the omega-3 fatty acids in those fish that are good for you.

If what you believe to be trout is actually catfish, you’re not getting the omega-3s you paid for.

Click over to the New York Times for details:

“One in five seafood samples tested worldwide turns out to be completely different from what the menu or packaging says, according to a report on seafood fraud released Wednesday by the ocean conservation group Oceana. Of the more than 25,000 seafood samples the group analyzed, 20 percent were incorrectly labeled.“It is likely that the average consumer has eaten mislabeled fish for sure,” said Beth Lowell, the senior campaign director for Oceana and an author of the paper. “You’re getting ripped off, while you enjoyed your meal you’re paying a high price for a low fish.”

Source: Catfished by a Catfish: 1 in 5 Seafood Samples Is Fake, Report Finds – The New York Times

On a related note…I’ve been eating a lot of canned smoked oysters lately. Nearly all on the supermarket shelves in Arizona USA come from China. Why is that? I worry about pollutants in those oysters, regardless of provenance. If you have any info on this issue, please share.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Search my blog for the list of high omega-3 cold-water fatty fish, or read my books.

Comments Off on 1 in 5 Seafood Samples Is Incorrectly Labeled

Filed under Fish

Have You Tried a Sardicado Sandwich?

California or Hass avocado

California or Hass avocado

Several years ago, Alton Brown lost a significant amount of weight, and one of the items on his diet was sardine-avocado sandwiches. I like sardines. I like avocados. But I never ever would have considered eating them mixed together.

A while back, I read Franziska Spritzler’s The Low Carb Dietitian’s Guide to Health and Beauty (great book; my review). One of her recipes involves the sardine-avocado combo, so I’m resolved to give it a try. Her recipe was simply 4 oz (120 g) canned sardines mixed with 1/2 medium avocado and sea salt, stuffed in a large red bell pepper. I bet the sardine-avocado mix would be good on a bed of lettuce if I don’t have a bell pepper. A little black pepper and a squeeze of lemon, too?

If memory serves, I paid $1.29 for this tin of sardines. "Best used by" date is five years from now.

If memory serves, I paid $1.29 (USD) for this tin of sardines. “Best used by” date is five years from now.

I may even try Franziska’s Chocolate Avocado Pudding, another combo I never would have imagined.

Click for Alton Brown’s sardicado sandwich.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If you don’t like the smell of sardines, my books won’t offend your olfactory sense.

low-carb mediterranean diet

Front cover of book

 

Comments Off on Have You Tried a Sardicado Sandwich?

Filed under Fish