October 22, 2018
Fatty Fish for Your Heart
Wellness Tip

Fatty Fish for Your Heart

by Berkeley Wellness  

To reduce your risk of heart attack, eat fatty fish, provided it isn’t high in mercury.

A new study of men in Sweden and Finland, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that those who ate the most fatty fish (determined by blood levels of omega-3 fats) had a substantially reduced risk of heart attack—unless the fish were high in methylmercury.

Higher mercury levels, as determined by samples of the men’s hair, increased the risk and canceled out the beneficial effect of the fish. An environmental pollutant, methylmercury accumulates in big long-lived fish (notably swordfish, shark, tilefish, king mackerel and large tuna) and is especially dangerous for fetuses and young children. For healthy choices, consult the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch.

But don’t count on supplements: Recent studies have called into question the proposed cardiovascular benefits of fish oil (omega-3) capsules.