ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
Brazilian Mint Tea Naturally Good for Pain Relief
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
CANCER
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
CAREGIVING
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Hairspray Exposure Ups Risk for Birth Defect in Sons
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Test Could Spot Diabetes Vision Trouble Early
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
FITNESS
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Smog Tougher on the Obese
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
Small Cuts in Salt Intake Spur Big Drops in Heart Trouble
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Add your Article

Fondness for Fish Keeps Japanese Hearts Healthy

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- Despite high levels of smoking, Japanese men are far less likely to have dangerous plaque build-up in their blood vessels than white or Japanese-American men, a difference that researchers believe stems from a lifelong, near-daily consumption of fish.

"Japanese living in Japan eat fish every day, about 100 grams every day," said study author Dr. Akira Sekikawa, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. "They also have very low rates of coronary heart disease, even with a high rate of smoking and other risk factors."

Results of the study are in the Aug. 5 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Current American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines recommend eating oily fish, such as salmon or albacore tuna, at least twice a week if you don't have heart disease. If you already have heart disease, the AHA suggests getting at least one gram of omega-3 fatty acids daily, preferably from fatty fish. However, the AHA cautions that you shouldn't consume more than two grams of fish oil daily without first consulting your doctor, because of a risk of excessive bleeding.

Sekikawa's study included 281 Japanese men, 306 white American men, and 281 Japanese-American men. Along with giving blood samples, all of the men underwent electron beam computed tomography (EBCT) to measure coronary artery calcification (plaque deposits on the heart's arteries) and ultrasound examinations of the carotid artery in the neck.

Overall, the researchers found that Japanese-American men had the highest number of heart disease risk factors of all three groups. They had the highest average body-mass index, blood pressure, triglycerides and the highest levels of diabetes.

The Japanese men living in Japan had far higher rates of smoking -- 47 percent -- and smoking is one of the most significant heart disease risk factors.

But they had significantly less coronary artery calcifications and less build-up in their carotid arteries.

The levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood were 9.2 percent for men living in Japan, 3.9 percent for white men, and 4.8 percent for Japanese-American men. Yet, Japanese-American men had more coronary artery calcifications and more build-up in their carotid arteries than the white men and the men in Japan.

"Fish is an important factor in keeping the Japanese healthy," said the author of an accompanying editorial, William Harris, director of the Metabolism and Nutrition Research Center, Sanford Research/USD, in Sioux Falls, S.D.

"The combination of increased fish oil and a low saturated fat diet is probably the best way to lower heart disease risk. Eskimos have a diet high in omega-3s, but also high in saturated fat, and they don't have the same low levels of heart disease," he added.

Harris said what's important is to consume fish or fish oil on an ongoing basis. "A month of supplements won't get you there," he said. But, if you don't like fish, he said that fish oil supplements can also improve your health, but he suggested that you read the supplement label and make sure that each capsule contains one gram of omega-3s. And, he said, they don't have to be expensive to be effective.

If you don't have heart disease, he said, two grams a day "is more than adequate." And, if you like fish, that's even better.

"Choose oily fish, not fried fish, but fish that naturally contain omega-3s, like salmon, sardines, albacore tuna, herring and mackerel, and you need to eat about two 4-ounce servings a week," Harris added.

More information

To learn more about fish, omega-3s and heart health, visit the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Akira Sekikawa, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh; William S. Harris, Ph.D., senior scientist, and director, Metabolism and Nutrition Research Center, Sanford Research/USD, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Aug. 5, 2008, Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Last Updated: July 29, 2008

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