Oily Fish ‘Twice as Good’ for Women than Men

New research has found that oily fish may boost the health of women’s hearts more than it does men.

Fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna are known to reduce the chance of a repeated heart attack due to the healthy oils that they contain.  It was always thought that healthy oils benefitted both men and women equally and helped reduced the levels of cholesterol in the heart but the new research has now dismissed that theory and states that it’s females that gain more from eating the oily fish.

Researchers from the University of Reading tested the impact on the muscle cells that control the elasticity of the hearts blood vessels.  During the tests it showed that women received twice the benefit of eating oily fish than men had.  The results favoured women so much that it had the same effect as the drugs which people who have poor blood vessel elasticity, such as those who live with diabetes.

This comes as good news for women, whose chances of dying from a heart attack are higher than their male counterparts.  Almost 40,000 women each year suffer from heart attacks.

Studies are carried out less on women and this is due to the varying effects that hormones and a women’s menstrual cycle can have when carrying out testing.  This is coupled with the popular belief that only men suffer from heart disease.  The research was carried out as 40,000 women are dying in the UK each year from coronary heart disease and as yet the diet recommendations made by the health board may not be as effective for women as they are men.

fish oil

It is thought that 66 per cent of Britons don’t eat any oily fish although healthy eating guidelines suggest that it is eaten at least once a week.

The test was carried out by studying around 60 people, split evenly into men and women, and were given test beverages containing either saturated fats or a combination of omega 3 fish, which is the equivalent to a 200g portion of fish.  Imaging was used in order to track the reaction in the blood cells and to gain the outcome.

A push can now be expected, urging women to up their weekly intake of oily fish.  Whilst a long and hard road would be ahead it would assist in ensuring that the currently very high numbers of heart related deaths may decline and improve the health of women up and down the UK.

Jenny Jones writes on behalf of AXA PPP and contributes to many blogs about medical insurance as well as being passionate about food and the impact it has on the body.

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/howardoyoung/5647094374/

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