Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
In Reply: Dr McDougall's assertion that fish
and omega-3 fatty acid intake is harmful to cardiac and general health runs
contradictory to a large body of evidence from epidemiological studies and
clinical trials reviewed in our article. In particular, omega-3 fatty acids
are known to have potent triglyceride-lowering effects (the effects on total
cholesterol are relatively small) and antiarrhythmia effects. More than a
dozen epidemiologic studies have shown that higher consumption of fish is
associated with lower risk of fatal CHD. In addition, clinical trials have
shown that omega-3 fatty acids reduce risk of sudden death and total mortality.
Although mercury contamination from some types of fish may attenuate the benefits
of marine omega-3 fatty acids,1 this issue
needs further investigation. In dietary practice, consumption of a variety
of fish can minimize mercury exposure from fish.2
Hu FB, Willett WC. Self-management of Chronic Disease—Reply. JAMA. 2003;289(12):1509–1511. doi:10.1001/jama.289.12.1509-a
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