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Fishy Advice Ignores Hazards

Researchers have found another benefit of eating fish: It can reduce the risk of deadly irregular heartbeats. Baked or broiled but not fried, fish helped reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation. Results suggest regular intake of tuna or other broiled or baked fish may be a simple and important deterrent to atrial fibrillation among older men and women.

More than 2 million Americans are affected by atrial fibrillation, a chronic condition that causes fatigue, shortness of breath and an inability to exercise. The heart's two upper chambers, called the atria, quiver instead of beating effectively. Blood is not pumped out properly and may pool and clot. These clots cause about 15 to 20 percent of strokes.

But don't go looking for fish just yet! Even though fish would otherwise be one of the healthiest meats on the planet, fish (and shellfish) easily accumulate high levels of chemical residues from the water they live in. Residues in fish can be as much as 9 million times the amount found in water! So before you open your next can of tuna or sit down to a plate of salmon, consider that contaminants found in fish flesh include:

  • Mercury
  • PCBs
  • Radioactive substances like strontium
  • Toxic metals such as cadmium, lead, chromium and arsenic

Yahoo News July 19, 2004

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