Eat more fish!

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Dr. Bassam R. Baroudi
Coast Heart Institute, PLLC
Phone: 228-863-5211 (Gulfport office)
228-467-5900 (Bay St. Louis office)

Just A Little Seafood Can Lower Risk Of Stroke

Eating seafood as frequently as just once a month may help reduce the risk of the most common form of stroke by more than 40 percent, according to a new study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health.

Continuing research over the past 20 years has found that eating fish once or twice a week can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. What sets the new study apart, however, is its finding that eating virtually any kind of fish or shellfish only once or twice a month produced the desired result among the audience studied.

The new study, published in the December 24, 2002, edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, also deepened the mystery of exactly what the ingredient is in fish that is so beneficial to cardiac health. It has been thought for years that the key is a high level of omega-3 fatty acids in certain types of fish, and the sales of fish oil capsules have skyrocketed in recent years, based largely on this assumption.

But the Harvard study, like several others published recently, found no definitive connection. Fish containing high levels of omega-3 fatty acids did not confer any greater degree of protection than other types of fish.

Despite failing to unravel the mystery, the new study reinforces the conclusion reached by every similar study in the field: Something in fish is good for the arteries, and everyone should eat some seafood on a regular basis.

Vitamins May Keep Blocked Arteries From Reoccurring

Taking a specific regimen of vitamins for a year can help prevent the reoccurrence of blocked arteries in patients who have undergone coronary angioplasty, a study conducted by the University of California at San Diego has found.

The protocol includes folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, which apparently work by lowering the body's levels of homocysteine, an amino acid long implicated in heart attacks.

The study, published in the August 28, 2002, edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, is an extension of an earlier research project that observed 205 patients for six months after surgery. The new study added 348 patients and extended the follow-up observation period to a full year.

The study shows that patients who took the vitamins showed a 48 percent reduction in the development of restenosis, or renarrowing of the blood vessel, compared to those patients who were given a placebo.