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December 1986

The Potential Clinical Benefits of Fish Consumption

Author Affiliations

Worcester Memorial Hospital 119 Belmont St Worcester, MA 01605

Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(12):2322-2323. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360240036004

The negative effects of certain dietary constituents on long-term health are increasingly evident to the medical and lay communities. For example, the adverse effect of excessive intake of saturated fats on atherosclerosis and the effects of high dietary sodium levels on hypertension are reasonably well accepted. Thus, most dietary prescriptions relate to reducing the intake of specific components. It is distinctly unusual to find evidence that additional quantities of a common foodstuff may have a favorable impact on the development of disease, but recently, the potential beneficial effects of increased fish consumption, especially supplementation which provides the oils of cold salt water species, has become apparent. The initial enthusiasm concerning the potential benefits of fish consumption came from epidemiologic studies of Eskimos, which demonstrated reduced cardiac mortality and perhaps reduced underlying atherosclerosis.1 Diminished rates of symptomatic coronary artery disease (CAD) have also been observed in other populations who consume