ISLAMABAD – A new study conducted by a team of international researchers has revealed that having at least two servings of natural oily fish a week can significantly reduce risk of stroke.

Researchers clarified that regular consumption of fish and long chain omega 3 fatty acids could lower the risk of cerebrovascular disease, while they noted that taking fish oil supplements did not have the same effect, Press TV reported.

The team analyzed 38 studies involved nearly 800,000 individuals in 15 countries and included patients with established cardiovascular disease (secondary prevention studies) as well as lower risk people without the disease (primary prevention studies). 

According to the study published on the British Medical Journal website, participants who consumed fish and long chain omega 3 fatty acid two to four servings a week had a moderate but significant 6 per cent lower risk of cerebrovascular disease compared with those eating one or fewer servings of fish a week.

Meanwhile, those ones who had five or more servings a week in their diet indicated a 12 per cent lower risk.

In contrast, levels of omega 3 fats in the blood and fish oil supplements were not significantly associated with a reduced risk. 

“Although there is a possibility that some other unmeasured (confounding) factor may explain the results, the existence of a potentially modest beneficial role of fish intake in the cause of cerebrovascular disease cannot be denied,” said the study authors.

The study was led by Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury at Cambridge University and Professor Oscar H. Franco at Erasmus MC Rotterdam.

According to the recent study, the researchers recommend eating at least two portions of fish a week, preferably oily fish like mackerel and sardines.