September 21, 2007


He, K., et al. Fish consumption and incidence of stroke: a meta-analysis of cohort studies. Stroke. 35: 1538-1542, 2004.
Mozaffarian, D., et al . Fish consumption and stroke risk in elderly individuals: the cardiovascular health study. Arch. Intern. Med. 165(6):683, 2005b.


Recent studies have indicated a significant effect of fish consumption and the overall risk of stroke with the suggestion that the constituent omega-3 fatty acids (DHA + EPA) may likely be contributing to such benefits. A recent review article (meta-analysis) of the various studies correlating fish consumption with stroke mortality has been published (by He. et al., 2004). This analysis is summarized in Figure 1 below. As seen in the figure, increasing fish consumption up to 5 servings or more per week was associated with an approximate overall 31% reduction in stroke mortality when the follow-up period extended to 12.8 years. This level of consumption (5 fish servings/week) represents approximately 650 mg of DHA/EPA (combined) per day. It is noteworthy that a recent study in elderly individuals by Mozaffarian et al. (2005) has documented that consumption of boiled or baked fish was associated with a lower risk of ischemic stroke while the intake of fried fish or fish sandwiches was associated with a higher risk. This finding suggests that the presence of trans fatty acids from partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils in the processing/breading of the latter fish may result in harmful risks to stroke which more than adversely offset the beneficial effects of DHA/EPA.

Stroke mortality and fish consumption

Figure 1: Stroke mortality and fish consumption.

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