After posing the question: "Does eating fish impact mortality risk, and how does omega-3 fit in", scientists explored the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, the largest health study ever carried out. The research spans 16 years, following the lives of 240,729 men and 180, 580 women.
Over that time period, participants provided their dietary routine while their health was monitored. Of the original number, 54,320 men and 30,882 women passed away.The research has been published recently in the Journal of Internal Medicine.
Most interestingly, diets higher in fish and long-chain omega-3s decreased total mortality. According to the data, men who ate the most fish saw a 9 per cent lower mortality risk compared to those who ate the least.
More specifically, researchers broke down the individual causes of death when comparing men on diets rich with fish and those who ate very little. Scientist noted:
- 10 per cent less from cardiovascular disease
- 6 per cent less from cancer
- 20 per cent less from respiratory disease
- 37 per cent less from chronic liver disease
Further, men and women who consumed the most omega-3 saw a 15 and 18 per cent reduction of cardiovascular mortality, respectively.
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"Consumption of fish and [omega-3s] was robustly associated with lower mortality from major causes. Our findings support current guidelines for fish consumption while advice on non-frying preparation methods is needed," note the study authors.
Researchers do, however, mention that intakes of fish weren't as high as previous studies. Although, given the study size, researchers are confident that the findings are solid. Further, results support previous reporting of the overwhelming benefits of fish-based foods.