Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Dish on Fish: It’s Good for You—Except When It’s Not

To some scientists and doctors, fish is a miracle food, a treasure trove of heart-healthy fatty acids and disease-fighting vitamins. To others, it’s a culinary curse, the carrier of health-endangering toxins. Which is it? The confusion is enough to make you go off the deep end.

If you’re 50 or older, dive in, say experts: The benefits—and there are many, among them a lower risk of dementia, vision loss and dying from heart disease—far outweigh the risks. “There is plenty of nutrition in fish, but most of the evidence points to omega-3s as the big-ticket benefit,” says Harvard Medical School cardiologist Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., who as the author of several major medical studies may be the nation’s most prolific researcher on the health impact of seafood.

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