Science - October 14, 2009

Eating fish not the way to a young heart

Eating fish does not play a major role in preventing heart failure, so claims a more than 10-year study carried out by the Division of Human Nutrition.

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The results of this research are published in the October issue of the European Journal of Heart Failure. More than five thousand elderly people above the age of 55 were monitored for more than a decade. It appeared that fish intake could not lower the number of heart failures.
Does this mean that eating fish is suddenly no longer good for your heart? 'No, of course not', answers Frans Kok, professor of Human Nutrition 'There is a difference between heart failure and other heart diseases, such as heart attacks.' Heart failure is when old age makes the heart less able to pump and circulate blood; the heart becomes a weak muscle. In a heart attack, a section of the heart muscle dies when blood flow to this section is blocked by plaque build-up in the coronary arteries (atherosclerosis). 'Fish fats not only reduce the infection processes which contribute to atherosclerosis but also help to ward off the bad effects caused by other fats on the artery wall', explains Kok. 'Fish is also good for cardiac stimulus conduction.'

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