Eating fish helps maintain heart rhythm: study

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Associated Press of Pakistan

Consumption of fish appears to have a beneficial effect on the electrical system of the heart, which prevents life-threatening heart rhythm disorders.

Previous reports have linked fish intake with a reduced risk of sudden death and irregular heartbeats, but the mechanisms responsible for this association were unknown, Health News reported.

However, evidence from animal studies has suggested a direct effect from fish oil intake on the hearts electrical circuitry.

Researchers from the Harvard Medical School, Boston analysed 5,096 adults enrolled in the Cardiovascular Health Study to investigate the link between dietary intake of n-3 fatty acids from fish and features seen on electrrocardiograms. The study went on from 1989 to 1990 and involved subjects who were at least 65 years old.

Intake of tuna, other broiled or baked fish at least once a week was associated with a slower heart rate as compared to eating these fish less than once a month.

Moreover, fish intake at least five times a week was associated with a healthier heart rhythm.

Consumption of marine n-3 fatty acids appeared to have similar effects. However, intake of fried fish was not associated with any ECG changes.

Intake of fried fish is not associated with blood levels of n-3 fatty acids.

This suggests that it may be the n-3 fatty acids in tuna and other broiled or baked fish that are having a positive impact on the heart’s electrical parameters.

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