Research paper| Volume 75, ISSUE 2-3, P157-165, February 1989

Habitual fish consumption, fatty acids of serum phospholipids and platelet function

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      To clarify whether the inverse relation between habitual fish consumption and cardiovascular mortality in the Dutch town of Zutphen could be explained by changes in platelet function or fibrinolysis, 40 healthy elderly men were selected from the Zutphen study population on the basis of their fish consumption over the last 26 years. In the high-fish group (n = 25) fish consumption was on average 33 g per person per day; in the low-fish group (n = 15) it was on average 2 g per person per day. This difference was reflected by significant differences in the concentrations of timnodonic acid (20: 5n− 3) and cervonic acid (22: 6n − 3) in the serum phospholipids of the participants. Between both groups no significant differences were observed in cutaneous bleeding time, platelet number, and collagen-induced platelet aggregation and ATP-release in whole blood. The same holds for the actual as well as the potential thromboxane B2 formation of activated platelets and for the activity of the plasminogen activator inhibitor. For most of the platelet-related variables a trend was found for a lower activity in the high-fish group. Therefore changes in platelet function might not explain, but may have slightly contributed to the inverse relationship between coronary heart disease and fish consumption, as observed in Zutphen.


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