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Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Eating Oily Fish Weekly Defends Against Stroke; Supplements Less Effective

Results from use of long chain omega 3 fatty acid came from 38 studies involving nearly 800,000 individuals in 15 countries

Oct. 31, 2012 - Eating at least two servings of oily fish a week is moderately but significantly associated with a reduced risk of stroke, finds a study published on bmj.com. But, taking fish oil supplements doesn't seem to have the same effect, say the researchers.

Regular consumption of fish and long chain omega 3 fatty acids has been linked with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease and current guidelines recommend eating at least two portions of fish a week, preferably oily fish like mackerel and sardines. But evidence supporting a similar benefit for stroke remains unclear.

So an international team of researchers, led by Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury at Cambridge University and Professor Oscar H. Franco at Erasmus MC Rotterdam, analyzed the results of 38 studies to help clarify the association between fish consumption and risk of stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack or TIA). Collectively, these conditions are known as cerebrovascular disease.

 

Related Archive Stories

 
 

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Does Not  Lower Risk of Major Cardiovascular Disease Events

‘Our findings do not justify the use of omega-3 as a structured intervention in everyday clinical practice’ for cardiovascular protection, says large review of published studies

Sept. 11, 2011

Cognitive Decline in Seniors Not Slowed by Omega-3 Fish Oil in Short Term

But researchers say longer term effects of omega-3 on cognitive decline and dementia need to be explored; urge seniors continue eating fish regularly

July 10, 2012

Seniors May Find Relief for Spine Damage with Omega-3, Curry Spice Diet

Diet minimized disease-related changes and repaired damage to the spinal cord of UCLA lab rats – preserved walking - June 26, 2012


Links to more archived stories below news report

Read more on Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements

 

The 38 studies involved nearly 800,000 individuals in 15 countries and included patients with established cardiovascular disease (secondary prevention studies) as well as lower risk people without the disease (primary prevention studies). Differences in study quality were taken into account to identify and minimize bias.

Fish and long chain omega 3 fatty acid consumption was assessed using dietary questionnaires, identifying markers of omega 3 fats in the blood, and recording use of fish oil supplements. A total of 34,817 cerebrovascular events were recorded during the studies.

After adjusting for several risk factors, participants eating two to four servings a week had a moderate but significant 6% lower risk of cerebrovascular disease compared with those eating one or fewer servings of fish a week, while participants eating five or more servings a week had a 12% lower risk.

An increment of two servings per week of any fish was associated with a 4% reduced risk of cerebrovascular disease. In contrast, levels of omega 3 fats in the blood and fish oil supplements were not significantly associated with a reduced risk.

Several reasons could explain the beneficial impact of eating fish on vascular health, say the authors. For example, it may be due to interactions between a wide range of nutrients, like vitamins and essential amino acids, commonly found in fish.

Alternatively, eating more fish may lead to a reduction in other foods, like red meat, that are detrimental to vascular health. Or higher fish intake may simply be an indicator of a generally healthier diet or higher socioeconomic status, both associated with better vascular health.

The differences seen between white and oily fish may be explained by the way they are typically cooked (white fish is generally battered and deep fried, adding potentially damaging fats).

Although there's a possibility that some other unmeasured (confounding) factor may explain their results, the authors conclude that "they reinforce a potentially modest beneficial role of fish intake in the cause of cerebrovascular disease."

In addition, they say their findings are in line with current dietary guidelines that encourage fish consumption for all; and intake of fish oils to people with pre-existing or at high risk of heart disease. They also support the view that future nutritional guidelines should be principally "food based."

In an accompanying editorial, authors from the Division of Human Nutrition at Wageningen University suggest that although it is "reasonable" to advise patients that eating one or two portions of fish per week could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, any benefit of long chain omega 3 fatty acid supplementation is likely to be small. They say it is possible, however, that patients with additional risk factors such as diabetes may benefit.


More Links to Archived Stories about Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Fish Oil Lowers Inflammation in Overweight Older People

New study adds another check mark for fish oil as an effective defender against illness

June 20, 2012

Aging Brains May Stay Sharp, Avoid Shrinkage, Alzheimer's with Proper Diet

Good choices Bs, C, D, E & omega 3; also diets high in trans fats more likely to produce brain shrinkage, lower scores on thinking, memory

Jan. 4, 2012

Eating Baked, Broiled Fish Wards Off Cognitive Decline, Alzheimer’s Disease

Senior citizens  nearing danger zone of cognitive problems should eat fish weekly

Dec. 6, 2011

Fish Oil Supplements Appear to Help Older People Think Better, Save Brains

There was clear association between fish oil supplements and brain volume

Aug. 17, 2011

Omega-3 Fish Oil Does Not Slow Cognitive or Functional Decline in Alzheimer's Disease

New study indicates DHA supplement not useful for those with mild to moderate AD - watch JAMA video - Nov. 3, 2010


My Aching Knees Seemed to Be Cured by Omega-3, New Study Says It May Be True

UK researchers find omega-3 fatty acids slow down osteoarthritis, at least in guinea pigs; I think it worked for me!

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.comOct. 17, 2011 – As an active – well very active – tennis player for many years, when I turned 70 I was worried my playing days might end due to my aching knees. I never took the court without wearing the latest in knee protection devices. Then, shortly after I increased my daily regimen of fish oil pills, the knee pain disappeared. I was convinced my joints were now better “oiled.” New research says there may be something to this. Read more...


Related Archive Stories

Photo: A woman having her eye examined.A number of studies have now linked Omega-3 with reducing the risk of AMD - major cause of blindness in senior citizens

Women Reduce Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration With Fish, Omega-3 Fatty Acid

Women who ate the most fish did the best at reducing the risk of this leading cause of blindness in senior citizens - March 15, 2011

Carotene that Makes Carrot Orange is in New Supplement that Slows Age-Related Macular Degeneration

New supplement introduced today appears so slow down AMD, the leading cause of blindness in elderly - June 19, 2009

Omega 3 from Fish, Nuts, Olive Oil Associated With Reduced Risk of Age-Related Blindness

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is the leading cause of severe vision loss among those older than 65 in the developed world. - May 11, 2009

Significant Vision Loss from Age-Related Macular Degeneration Reduced 41% by Vitamin B, Folic Acid

First means of reducing risk of AMD, leading cause of blindness in senior citizens, other than not smoking - Feb. 24, 2009

Eat Oily Fish at Least Once a Week to Protect Your Eyesight in Old Age

Consumption of oily fish at least once a week makes you 50% less likely to have wet AMD - Aug. 8, 2008

Age-Related Macular Degeneration Risk Lowered by Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Pigment found in spinach, egg yolk, corn protect the macula from blue light - Sept. 12, 2007

Omega-3 Protects Eyes from Retinopathy as in Major Causes of Blindness in Senior Citizens

Diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration may be helped - June 25, 2007

Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Fish, Vitamin D Fight Age-Related Macular Degeneration

No known way to prevent this major cause of blindness in senior citizens  - May 14, 2007

Pigments in Corn, Squash and other Vegetables Help Protect Against Age-Related Vision Loss

The carotenoids fight age-related macular degeneration (AMD) - August 14, 2006

Antioxidants and Zinc Reduce Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Says New Report

This 2001 study now confirmed by NIH panel

May 17, 2006

Antioxidants May Reduce Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Dec. 28, 2005

Review Supports Vitamin E Dosage for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Jan. 18, 2005

Fish Oil Supplements Appear to Help Older People Think Better, Save Brains

There was clear association between fish oil supplements and brain volume

Aug. 17, 2011


High Level of Omega-3 in Blood of Older Men Hikes Risk of Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Study leader says beneficial effects of eating fish to prevent heart disease still outweigh any harm related to prostate cancer risk - April 25, 2011


Women Reduce Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration With Fish, Omega-3 Fatty Acid

Women who ate the most fish did the best at reducing the risk of this leading cause of blindness in senior citizens

March 15, 2011


Omega-3 Fish Oil Does Not Slow Cognitive or Functional Decline in Alzheimer's Disease

New study indicates DHA supplement not useful for those with mild to moderate AD - watch JAMA video - Nov. 3, 2010


Claims Appear Fishy that Fish Oil Supplements Improve Cognitive Ability of Senior Citizens

Largest study ever of older people and fish oil finds no improvement in brain power after two years - April 21, 2010


Rigid Mediterranean-Type Diet, More Physical Activity Reduces Risk of Alzheimer's

Second JAMA study says high adherence to the diet by senior citizens leads to slower decline in some cognitive function, but not decreased risk for dementia

Aug. 11, 2009


Omega 3 from Fish, Nuts, Olive Oil Associated With Reduced Risk of Age-Related Blindness

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is the leading cause of severe vision loss among those older than 65 in the developed world. - May 11, 2009


Study of Older Men Challenges Heart Association Recommendation of Eating Fish Twice Weekly

Study finds eating fatty fish once a week reduces heart failure risk, eating more does not. Omega-3 fatty acid benefits confirmed, too – if taken in the right amounts

 - April 22, 2009


Senior Citizens Have Less Dementia if They Eat Omega-3 Rich Fish, Finds 7-Nation Study

Results inconclusive on impact of dementia risk from eating meat - July 17, 2009


Omega-3 Kills Cancer Cells, Enhances Chemotherapy Drug As It Limits Harmful Side Effects

Success with lab rats leads researchers to call for wider use of omega-3 in the fight against cancer-April 2, 2009


Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Advice on Use Presented by Mayo Clinic

Thousands of studies have documented the cardiovascular benefits

March 10, 2008


How Fish Oil Helps You Avoid Brain Damaging Alzheimer’s Plaque

UCLA study finds anti-Alzheimer's mechanism in omega-3 fatty acids

Dec. 26, 2007


Senior Citizens Significantly Lower Dementia Risk Eating Fish, Omega-3 Oils, Fruits, Veggies

Watch for omega-6 oils – they can increase your chances of memory problems finds study of older people

Nov. 13, 2007


Reports of Lower Alzheimer's Risk from Omega-3 Fish Oil Spurs Clinical Trial

National Institute of Aging funds clinical trial that needs volunteers

May 10, 2007


Senior Citizens Significantly Lower Dementia Risk Eating Fish, Omega-3 Oils, Fruits, Veggies

Watch for omega-6 oils – they can increase your chances of memory problems finds study of older people - Nov. 13, 2007


Alzheimer's 'Cocktail' Hailed as New Hope for Patients

Omega-3 fish oil a key ingredient among dietary supplements in drink to improve memory

April 28, 2006


Something Fishy About Alzheimer’s Prevention

New study supports earlier finding that eating fish helps prevent Alzheimer’s

July 22, 2003

 

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