Moderate consumption of oily fish may reduce the risk of developing dysfunction in the heart muscle by 50 per cent, says a new study.

December 21, 2009

A new study that included 934 people with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) found that if they consumed moderate amounts of oily fish, they reduced their risk of developing left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD). The patients were followed for three years. We revealed a dose-response association between fish consumption and the likelihood of developing left ventricular systolic dysfunction after an ACS, wrote the researchers from the University of Athens . In particular, fish consumption of 1 to 2 times per week was independently associated with a considerable reduction of the odds of developing LVSD.

During the course of the three year study, 437 people developed LVSD. The results show that moderate fish consumption is associated with a 53 % reduction in the risk of developing LVSD compared to no or rare consumption of fish. In addition, moderate fish consumption was associated with a lower inhibition of the nitric oxide synthase, an enzyme which produces nitric oxide a potent vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels and improves blood flow. Moderate fish consumption seems to offer significant protection against the development of systolic dysfunction in post ACS patients, merely attributed to its beneficial effect on oxidation process and endothelial function, concluded the researchers. The study is published online ahead of print in the Journal of Food Science .