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Public Health Nutr. 2009 Aug;12(8):1261-9. doi: 10.1017/S1368980008003844. Epub 2008 Nov 6.

Relationship between fish intake, n-3 fatty acids, mercury and risk markers of CHD (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002).

Author information

1
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA. ksmith@exponent.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Fish consumption has been shown to be inversely associated with CHD, which may be due to n-3 fatty acids. The n-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, are naturally found only in marine sources. Dietary intakes of methylmercury from certain fish have been hypothesized to increase the risk of CHD.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the relationship between 30 d fish frequency consumption (assessed by FFQ), total blood Hg concentrations and risk markers of CHD in women aged 16-49 years participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002.

DESIGN:

Multiple linear regression analyses were used to test (i) the relationships between 30 d fish frequency consumption and five CHD risk markers, i.e. HDL cholesterol (HDL-C), LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, TAG and C-reactive protein (CRP); and (ii) if total blood Hg attenuated any associations between fish consumption and CHD risk markers in non-pregnant, non-diabetic females aged 16-49 years.

RESULTS:

Total 30 d fish frequency consumption was negatively associated with CRP (b = -0.10, 95 % CI -0.19, -0.02, P = 0.015) and positively associated with HDL-C (b = 1.40, 95 % CI 0.31, 2.50, P = 0.014). Adjustment for other risk factors did not significantly attenuate the associations. Despite the collinearity between fish and Hg, there is a protective association between fish intake and CHD risk factors.

CONCLUSIONS:

The levels of DHA + EPA and other nutrients in fish may be adequate to offset the hypothesized risks of heart disease related to ingesting Hg from fish.

PMID:
18986590
DOI:
10.1017/S1368980008003844
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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