Tackling heart health in Asian populations
the benefits to our health of regularly consuming oily fish. New
research from the UK suggests that the Sikh population, and
potentially other Asian groups, could significantly reduce their
risk of heart disease by increasing the amount of oily fish they
Last week we reported on a new study that highlighted, once again, the benefits to our health, in particular for diabetics, of regularly consuming oily fish. New research from the UK suggests that the Sikh population, and potentially other Asian groups, could significantly reduce their risk of heart disease by increasing the amount of oily fish they eat.
In the UK, the risk of heart disease among Indian Asians is currently around twice the UK average, reports the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The study held at the University of Reading found that Sikh men and women consumed less of the fatty acids found mainly in fish oil, and more of those found in vegetable oils, than UK white men and women.
After a moderate intake of fish oil (4g per day for 12 weeks), the levels of beneficial fatty acids in the body increased in the Sikh group to levels similar to the white men and women studied. Results also showed that taking fish oil supplements reduced the risk of heart disease by changing levels of fats in the blood.
Dr Peter Sanderson, a nutrition scientist at the FSA, commented: "This new research shows that Sikh men and women in the UK, who are at significantly higher than average risk of heart disease, have a low intake of fish.
"Eating at least two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily fish such as salmon or mackerel, could significantly help reduce the risk of heart disease in Asian communities."
In the UK, admission to hospital with heart attack is about double the average in the Asian population, and early death from heart disease is 46 per cent higher for Asian men and 51 per cent higher for Asian women than the UK average.
Diabetes, which is associated with abnormal blood-fat levels, is also four times more likely in the Asian population, and diabetes is known to be linked to an increased risk of heart disease.