Eating mackerel, sardines or other oily fish two or more times a week can curb your risk of stroke, new research suggests.
A team of international researchers looked at 38 studies involving nearly 800,000 men and women in 15 countries, including people with and without a history of strokes or mini-strokes.
Those who ate two or four servings of oily fish a week had a 6% lower risk of cerebrovascular disease (stroke or mini-stroke), compared to those who ate less than one serving of fish a week. Researchers found the more fish people ate, the lower their risk of stroke.
The study authors said they're not totally sure why adding oily fish to the diet helps keep strokes at bay, but think it could be because of interactions with the vitamins and essential amino acids. They also said it could be because fish is replacing other foods, such as red meat, which are bad for vascular health. It could also be that fish-eaters tend to have healthier diets generally.
Fish oil supplements didn't have the same effect, researchers said.
The study was published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal online.
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