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February 12, 1982

Medical News

JAMA. 1982;247(6):729-739. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320310003001

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It's not fishy: fruit of the sea may foil cardiovascular disease  Marine fatty acids have made the news lately as possible preventers of some cardiovascular problems. In fact, some think that the day is not far off when capsules containing these fatty acids will—like vitamin capsules—take their place in American refrigerators.Perhaps the most frequently mentioned fatty acid is eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an analogue of arachidonic acid that is found in fish, some other marine oils, and possibly seaweed.Eicosapentaenoic acid apparently originates far down the food chain in phytoplankton, which are free-floating organisms that directly or indirectly serve as a primary food source for all sea creatures. In the 1970s, Danish investigators Jorn Dyerberg, MD, and H. O. Bang, MD, and colleagues at Aalborg Hospital, Aalborg, began suggesting that enriching the diet with EPA might protect humans against thrombosis. They based their hypothesis on studies of northwest Greenland