Seafood is rich-protein food that is below in calories, fat, and saturated fat.
Seafood is a significant source of a wide variety of micronutrients and protein to many of the world’s poorest populations.
The term ‘seafood’ covers a heterogeneous group of aquatic organisms both from the marine environment and freshwater.
Furthermore, the demand for seafood across the world now exceeds, rapidly increasing market for aquaculture products.
Nutrient composition in seafood is omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, taurine, vitamins D and B12.
Epidemiological studies show seafood consumption helps in the reduction in the risk of succumbing to many chronic diseases of aging as well as in weight control and childhood cognitive development.
Nutrients present in the seafood benefits by permitting the creation of significant health benefit to humans.
Research Studies On Seafood Benefits
Seafood benefits by reducing the risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD), high blood pressure, stroke, cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory diseases.
Moreover, studies widely recommend that we should eat at least two portions of fish a week. Few people achieve this, most notably, in Japan and certain arctic peoples.
However, Consumption of seafood is increasing particularly in East Asia, Southeast Asia, China, and North Africa.
While the increase in consumption improves the health, it also means there is an ever-growing pressure on seafood supply account.
The biologically active component in seafood is omega-3 fatty acids present in oil-rich species, such as mackerel, herring, and salmon.
Fish and other seafood benefits by providing significant levels of many other potentially protective components include Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, selenium, iodine, choline and taurine as well as a well-balanced amino acid composition.
Meta-analysis of cohort studies may be quite convincing identification of which nutrient is essential is difficult due to the potential covariance of different nutrients in the fish consumption diet.
Seafood Benefits: A Brief Overview
Seafood Benefits Based On Nutrient Content
Interest in seafood has focused on fish oils because this is the only primary source of the very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid.
Even lean fish and crustaceans low in fat contain these omega-3 fatty acids in lower levels than in oil-rich fish.
In the European Prospective Investigation in Cancer (EPIC) study show the fatty acid content of blood components tends to reflect the intake of fish.
Seafood Benefits As source Of Vitamin D
Seafood benefits by acting as a good source of vitamin D, and although formation in the skin under the action of ultraviolet light.
Like humans, fish can synthesize vitamin D, but this requires exposure to sunlight. Since water absorbs UV light effectively, so much of the vitamin D present in fish is of dietary origin.
The origin of dietary vitamin D for fish is the plankton, which acts as a source of both vitamin D2 and D3.
Populations living at northern latitudes recognized that seafood benefits by playing a vital role in Vitamin D source.
Moreover, the vitamin D content of fish varies enormously and does not correlate with the fat content.
Taurine is a sulfonic acid from cysteine but has no carboxyl group.
It is known to be essential for some species similar to polyunsaturated fatty acids, can be synthesized by most adult humans.
As the rate of synthesis is low, the dietary sources help to achieve maximal optimal plasma levels.
Taurine is an essential component of breast milk concerning neuronal development.
Taurine is of most significant interest about consumption of mollusks such as mussels and scallops. Also found in relatively high quantities in crab, many fish as well as in dark meat from birds.
Taurine is useful as a biomarker of seafood intake. Besides, Eating taurine-rich seafood benefits with many health outcomes.
Seafood Benefits As Organic Selenium Source
Seafood benefits by acting as a good source of bioavailable selenium and plasma levels.
Selenium is most bioavailable in organic forms such as selenomethionine and selenocysteine.
Interestingly a novel form of organic selenium has recently been identified in tuna, and initial evidence suggests it has strong anti-oxidant.
It is currently under investigation as a potentially less toxic form of organic selenium for use in supplements.
Other Nutrients In SeaFood
Other nutrients available from fish and seafood are a right balance of amino acids, choline, iodine, and vitamin B12.
Another significant seafood benefits are supplying iron, zinc, and vitamin A.
The health benefits of vitamin B12 have been reviewed recently and indeed parallel those associated with fish consumption.
Iodine in seafood has positive benefits on cardiovascular disease. The best evidence supports the effects concerning thyroid disease and possibly prostate cancer.
Seafood Benefits In Health Outcomes
High intake of seafood benefits by reduction of many chronic diseases associated with obesity such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
Potential health benefits of a diet high in seafood aid in the decrease of cholesterol, plasma lipid profiles and low incidence of heart disease.
These effects were considered likely to be associated with differences in the diet with data suggesting a strong genetic influence.
The most apparent difference to the earlier researchers about the Inuit diets was the level of marine Very-Long-Chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLC-PUFAs), and so it was hypothesized that these fatty acids reduced the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).
As a consequence, almost all effort in this area since then has focussed on the VLC-PUFAs ignoring other potentially essential nutrients.
Seafood Benefits In Metabolic syndrome and inflammatory modulation
The risk of succumbing to any of the chronic diseases of old age is strongly related to obesity and low-level chronic inflammation.
Chronic sub-clinical inflammation is the central factor in metabolic syndrome, that is cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Seafood consumption appears to protect against these diseases perhaps in part because fish consumers tend to be slim.
In the study by Zampelas et al. participants who consumed at least 300 g of fish per week had on average 33% lower CRP, 33% lower IL-6 (interleukin-6), 21% lower TNF-alpha, 28% lower serum amyloid A levels, and 4% lower white blood cell counts compared to non-fish eaters.
Many nutrients present in seafood, in particular, VL-PUFAs and selenium have been suggested as active anti-inflammatory agents.
Fish consumption is helpful in the reduction of blood pressure and less vascular damage associated with raised blood pressure which would be expected to reduce the risk of CHD and stroke.
Interestingly, combining fish oil and selenium suggest that oil give protective effect on the body, besides the presence of selenium enhance the effect.
Intake of selenium and taurine reduce the risk of stroke, these factors are likely to be important in providing protection.
Vitamin B12 also be essential in the treatment of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease through the reduction in the biomarker and plasma homocysteine.
Research studies show strong evidence that seafood benefits by protective effect against heart disease and stroke.
Seafood Benefits As Anti-Carcinogenic Effects
Cancer is now the leading cause of death in people under 80 in the United States, and so there is rising research on preventative cancer approaches.
Large cohort studies show that fish intake has no link with an increase in the risk of cancer overall but also no decrease in all cancers.
The role of seafood benefits in cancer prevention is decidedly less in a few types of cancer, but these are common cancers.
Thus, although seafood has no benefit with two common cancers, lung and breast cancer, there is a significant body of evidence to suggest protection against colorectal cancer.
Population studies tend to provide more convincing evidence when the range of intakes is high, with two portions a week being most protective. Unfortunately, most studies do not consider different seafood groups in much detail.
Human intervention studies have shown some protective effect on biomarkers of colorectal cancer risk.
But there is minimal data from long-term fish-oil intervention studies on actual tumor occurrence in CRC.
However, there no enough data on seafood beneficial effects with the incidence of all cancers.
Vitamin D and selenium are also under investigation as potential chemo-preventive factors with CRC and perhaps other cancers.
In metabolic syndrome, any potential protective effect of fish may well involve the combination of nutrients.
Seafood Benefits – Other Health Outcomes
Seafood Benefits by producing positive effects on infant development, mental health, arthritis, and cognitive decline.
The nutrient content of seafood is affected by a wide range of factors such as water temperature, fish maturity, season, genetics and diet.
Like most research in these areas has focussed on the VLC-PUFAs, but all or some of the other nutrients found in seafood may play a significant role in all such health effects.
It is therefore essential to identify more accurately what nutrients are a reason for seafood benefits.
Seafood Benefits: Conclusion
A diet high in fish and shellfish appears to be beneficial to health.
Current evidence suggests that the omega-3 VLC-PUFAs and selenium are particularly crucial to protective effects.
Research in long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids is vital in health promotion or the most beneficial form of organic selenium.
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