Eat Fish Everyday to Keep the Doctor Away?

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Eating more fish can protect your heart, a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests.

Researchers recently looked at why middle-aged Japanese men have far less heart disease than American men.

"The death rate from coronary heart disease in Japan has always been puzzlingly low," said Akira Sekikawa, a leader of the study and assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh.

"Our study suggests that the very low rates of coronary heart disease among Japanese living in Japan may be due to their lifelong high consumption of fish," Sekikawa said.

The study included 281 Japanese men, 306 white American men, and 281 Japanese-American men.

Even though a series of blood samples found that the Japanese and Japanese-American men smoked more, had higher blood pressure, and a higher rate of diabetes --- all factors that contribute to heart disease --- they had significantly less calcification and build up in their arteries.

"Fish is an important factor in keeping the Japanese healthy," said William Harris, director of the Metabolism and Nutrition Research Center.

The Japanese eat about three ounces of fish a day, while the typical American eats fish only about twice a week.

The American Heart Association recommends eating oily fish like tuna, salmon, and sardines, which are high in omega 3 fatty acids and protect against clogged arteries.

Sources: Reuters, Health Day News

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