Journal Archive > 2002 > May

Fish story

Oily fish are heart-healthy

Two servings of salmon or other oily fish a week can drastically cut the risk of sudden cardiac death in men with no history of heart trouble, according to a study published in the April 11 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study is the first to show that omega-3 fatty acids, a component of fish oil, can prevent sudden death in healthy men. Previous studies have shown that fish oils reduce the risk of sudden death—but in men who already had heart attacks.

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Irwin H. Rosenberg, dean of the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, said the fatty acids in fish oil stabilize heart cells electrically so that a heart attack won't trigger fibrillation.