Fish and health – Does eating fish really extend your life?
“Eating fish in old age ‘can extend life’,” The Daily Telegraph proclaims, among several mainstream papers covering the story. But before you head out to buy some MSC-certified sustainably sourced mackerel, it’s worth having a look at whether this really is such good news for you.
The headlines only really apply to over-65s, and no fish were involved in the research. The news is actually based on the results of a large long-term study looking at whether blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids are associated with cardiovascular disease and mortality among older adults. These omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish and seafood, as well as nuts and other dietary sources.
This research found that higher levels of omega-3 in the blood were associated with a 27% reduction in risk of death from any cause, and a 35% reduction in risk of death from heart disease. People with the highest omega-3 levels lived 2.2 years longer on average than those with lower levels.
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