Cholesterol : Fish Helps Boost Good Cholesterol

The evidence supporting the benefits of fish for heart health continues to grow, and new research finds that increasing your intake of fish to three to four times weekly helps to increase the number of large HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol) particles.

A study from the University of Eastern Finland finds that the consumption of fatty fish affects both the size and lipid concentrations of lipoproteins, which transport lipids in the blood. Compared to study participants who ate fish infrequently, those who ate at least three to four meals with fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, and herring, experienced the greatest changes in HDL particles. Studies show that large HDL particles are efficient in sweeping excess cholesterol off artery walls and are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers conclude, “The results suggest that consumption of a diet rich in whole grain, bilberries, and especially fatty fish causes changes in HDL particles shifting their subclass distribution toward larger particles. These changes may be related to known protective functions of HDL such as reverse cholesterol transport and could partly explain the known protective effects of fish consumption against atherosclerosis.”

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