Fishing for a long life

Fisher-folk will tell you that the act of fishing makes your life better and longer. They advocate the calmness of the pursuit, the communion with nature, and the retreat from the pressures of daily life. For the more squeamish among us the general messiness of the whole business is a bit of a block to enjoying the angling art but even if you don’t want to be a fisher-person you can still enjoy some fish as part of your diet and if you do, according to new research, you will be adding years to your life.

The new study comes from the Harvard School of Public Health and University of Washington and involved analysing data collected over 16 years on almost 2,700 adults who were 65 or older. At the start of the study all of the subjects were healthy and had blood tests, physical examinations, and answered questions about diet and lifestyle.

Analysis of the data found a link between blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids from fish and longevity.

The omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) was associated with a 40 per cent reduction in risk of developing heart disease. Docosopentaenoic acid (DPA) was linked to a lower risk of death from stroke and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) was linked to a decrease risk of non-fatal heart attack.

Overall, those people with the highest levels of these three omega-3 fatty acids were 27 per cent less likely to die during the course of the study for any reason.

Other studies have confirmed that eating fish can reduce risk of heart disease and lower chances of developing conditions like diabetes. So even if you don’t fancy baiting your hook and standing by a wandering stream for a few hours, you can still enjoy the fruits of fishing. It certainly seems that the more fish you eat the better you are able to swim through life and the longer it will be until your life will fin-ish.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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