The Cheerful Oncologist

Eating plenty of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids — such as tuna and salmon — may reduce the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration [known as neovascular AMD], a new study says.

The study findings are published in the May issue of the journal Archives of Ophthalmology.

Fish, fish, fish! That’s all I read in the papers these days – nothing but stories about how piscine-rich diets confer a clearly unfair health advantage over those centered around consumption of flesh from cloven hoofed animals.

What if I’m a hearty meat-and-potatoes type and suddenly I come across this story while tucking into my breakfast steak some morning? Wouldn’t I feel a bit discriminated against? Might I just set my jaw and announce to the world that “It just ain’t fair!” Why, this type of abuse could even endanger my life – just look at this headline, also from today:

“Unfair Treatment Boosts Heart Attack Risk”

Of course, I could always start cooking a filet or two, in between the pot roasts and porterhouses that bring such tidings of comfort and joy. I wonder how much fish you have to eat in order to avoid going blind…

Higher fish consumption, both total and broiled/baked, was also inversely associated with neovascular AMD,” the authors wrote. They said that eating more than two medium (4-ounce) servings of fish a week, or more than one medium serving of broiled or baked fish, was associated with a lower risk for advanced AMD.

Two four-once servings – is that all? I was afraid you had to cram it in like you were at the Feeding of the Five Thousand. I suppose I could tell Jeeves to tell the cook to prepare a fish dish every Monday and Thursday – or maybe I should just hold off until I need glasses…

Too bad our friends in the fast-food industry can’t put a little docosahexaenoic acid in their hamburgers – or would that just be playing to our vices?


  1. #1 Sophie
    May 16, 2007

    And by 2048, all the commercial fish species will have collapsed…
    These health messages are dangerous because all the fish in the oceans and rivers won’t be enough to get such a diet for the people they target.

  2. #2 emmy
    May 16, 2007

    Is she saying that we have too many people in the world to feed?

  3. #3 Sophie
    May 20, 2007

    Not being able to feed everyone fish doesn’t mean not being able to feed everyone.
    Now with fossil fuels as intrants (fertilizers, pesticides and power for mechanical agriculture, etc), we are producing enough food for everyone, but we don’t distribute it to everyone. So we have lots of people starving, lots of obese people, lots of food wasted.
    Once we run out of cheap fossil fuels, and/or use lots of land to produce biofuels, the answer might be different. There are already tensions on basic food price (corn) in South America due to land use for biofuels rather than food production.

    About fish, there are more questions to ask before deciding to eat lots of fish : check out the levels of pollution in mercury (, choose the species according to its conservation status, to how it is fished (, check out how many small fish are taken to feed farmed salmon, how many mangroves are destroyed to produce shrimp…

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