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Before the era of color television, countless numbers children were forced to eat a spoonful of putrid oil extracted from a cod’s liver. Now it seems that all those children suffered that grueling daily ritual in vain. They could have gotten better health benefits from eating fish twice a week instead.

A large review by BMJ journal covered 38 studies, 800,000 patients and  34,817 stroke incidents. It showed that eating fish twice a week reduced the risk of stroke by 6% and eating fish five times a week reduced it by 12%.

The review concluded that “higher fish consumption is moderately but significantly associated with a reduced risk of incident cerebrovascular disease. By contrast, dietary, circulating biomarkers and supplements of long chain omega-3 fatty acids were not significantly associated with risk of cerebrovascular disease.”

Eating fish is beneficial, eating omega-3 supplements not so much.

Why is that? The study offers three explanations. The first one is that fish are loaded with goodness. The health benefits of eating fish is a result of an “interplay of a wide range of nutrients abundant in fish,” and not just the intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

The other two explanations are sociological. People who eat fish not only tend to have healthier diet patterns, eat less red meat, but usually are members of a “higher socioeconomic status.”

We’ve known for thousands of years that eating fish is good for you. And now we have yet another study to prove it –  so go eat fish. Plenty of it.

 

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