Red Fish, White Fish; Dark Fish, Atrial Fibrillation

Red Fish, White Fish; Dark Fish, Atrial Fibrillation
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The consumption of dark fish (such as salmon, swordfish, bluefish, mackerel, and sardines) may increase our risk of atrial fibrillation—an irregular heartbeat rhythm associated with stroke, dementia, heart failure, and a shortened lifespan.

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Another surprising fish story out of Massachusetts recently. Atrial fibrillation is the most common clinical cardiac arrhythmia—an irregularity of our heartbeat rhythm—which can set us up for a stroke, increase our risk of dementia and heart failure, and significantly shorten our lifespan.

Previous findings on the effect of diet have been conflicting. Some studies have found alcohol, caffeine, and fish consumption to be good, in terms of preventing or resolving atrial fibrillation, and other studies have shown them all to be bad.

It’s when this kind of situation arises in nutritional science, you pull out the big guns, and put it to the test in one of the bigger, better studies, like the famous Framingham Heart Study population, like they did here.

They found no effect either way, in general, from the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, or fish. But when they looked closer, they observed an association between the consumption of dark fish and atrial fibrillation. A six-fold higher hazard ratio. What they’re talking about is basically salmon, swordfish, bluefish, mackerel, sardines; that kind of thing.

They conclude that their findings may suggest a “true adverse effect of dark fish and fish oil on certain subtypes of [atrial fibrillation],” proposing that “potential toxins such as dioxins and methyl mercury accumulated in certain fish may have a negative effect on cardiac arrhythmia.”

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Serena.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Popfossa and marc kjerland / flickr

Another surprising fish story out of Massachusetts recently. Atrial fibrillation is the most common clinical cardiac arrhythmia—an irregularity of our heartbeat rhythm—which can set us up for a stroke, increase our risk of dementia and heart failure, and significantly shorten our lifespan.

Previous findings on the effect of diet have been conflicting. Some studies have found alcohol, caffeine, and fish consumption to be good, in terms of preventing or resolving atrial fibrillation, and other studies have shown them all to be bad.

It’s when this kind of situation arises in nutritional science, you pull out the big guns, and put it to the test in one of the bigger, better studies, like the famous Framingham Heart Study population, like they did here.

They found no effect either way, in general, from the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, or fish. But when they looked closer, they observed an association between the consumption of dark fish and atrial fibrillation. A six-fold higher hazard ratio. What they’re talking about is basically salmon, swordfish, bluefish, mackerel, sardines; that kind of thing.

They conclude that their findings may suggest a “true adverse effect of dark fish and fish oil on certain subtypes of [atrial fibrillation],” proposing that “potential toxins such as dioxins and methyl mercury accumulated in certain fish may have a negative effect on cardiac arrhythmia.”

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Serena.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Popfossa and marc kjerland / flickr

Doctor's Note

Check out Boosting Heart Nerve Control for how we can improve heart rhythm function through diet, and check out my other videos on alcoholcaffeine; and the persistent organic pollutants that build up in the aquatic food chain. The mercury that accumulates in fish (see Cannibalistic Feed Biomagnification) can also affect brain function in children (see Maternal Mercury Levels), as well as in adults (see Fish Fog).

Also, be sure to check out my associated blog posts: Mercury Testing Recommended Before Pregnancy, and Eating To Extend Our Lifespan.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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