According to a recent study, published in the British Medical Journal, consuming oily fish twice a week or more often can reduce the risk of having a stroke. However, researchers note that taking fish oil supplements, which many people prefer to eating real fish, does not have the same positive effect.
Researchers at Cambridge University analysed data from previous studies, which included 800,000 people in 15 countries, and concluded that people who regularly eat fish between two and four times a week are 6% less likely to suffer a stroke, whereas those who consume it five or more times a week have 12% lower risk than people who rarely serve fish on their tables.
However, the study suggests that the beneficial effect of fish on human brain and heart cannot simply be attributed to Omega 3 fatty acids, as it is typically believed, because the research also looked at the impact of the supplement on respondents' health and failed to find any link between Omega 3 levels and stroke risk.
Authors of the study explain that fish is rich in vitamins D and B, which contribute to good vascular health, and is also an excellent source of minerals, such as iodine, selenium and taurine. It is possible that the positive influence of the increased consumption of fish is due to the fact that people would eat red meat less frequently, which would additionally reduce stroke risk factors.