Eating fish twice a week could help you live at least two years longer,a new study has claimed.
Older people who have higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish and seafood may lower the overall mortality risk by 27 per cent and death risk from heart disease by about 35 per cent.
Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the University of Washington found that older adults who had the highest blood levels of fish fatty acids lived,on average,2.2 years longer than those with lower levels.
“Our findings support the importance of adequate blood omega-3 levels for cardiovascular health,and suggest that later in life these benefits could actually extend the years of remaining life,” said lead author Dariush Mozaffarian.
Researchers examined 16 years of data from about 2,700 US adults aged 65 or older who participated in the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS).
“The findings suggest that the biggest bang-for-your-buck is for going from no intake to modest intake,or about two servings of fatty fish per week,” said Mozaffarian.
Participants came from four US communities in North Carolina,California,Maryland,and Pennsylvania and all were generally healthy.
The researchers analysed the total proportion of blood omega-3 fatty acids,including three specific ones,in participants’ blood samples at baseline.
They found that the three fatty acids – both individually and combined – were associated with a significantly lower risk of mortality.
One type in particular – docosahexaenoic acid,or DHA- was most strongly related to lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) death (40 per cent lower risk),especially CHD death due to arrhythmias (electrical disturbances of the heart rhythm) (45 per cent lower risk).
Of the other blood fatty acids measured eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) – DPA was most strongly associated with lower risk of stroke death,and EPA most strongly linked with lower risk of nonfatal heart attack.
Overall,study participants with the highest levels of all three types of fatty acids had a 27 per cent lower risk of total mortality due to all causes.
The study was published in Annals of Internal Medicine.