Excessive consumption of catfish is dangerous – Health Expert


Excessive consumption of catfish is dangerous – Health Expert

An Abuja-based medical expert has warned that excessive consumption
of catfish could increase the chances of developing cardiovascular
diseases.

Arikawe Adeolu, a medical practitioner at Federal Medical Centre,
Abuja, said that catfish contained omega-6 fatty acids.The acid, he
explained, could increase the level of inflammation in the body.He added
that inflammation was the underlying cause of cardiovascular diseases,
certain cancers and diabetes.

He said that although catfish also contained omega-3 fatty acids,
which had a lot of health benefits, the ratio of omega-6 was far greater
than omega-3 fatty acids.Mr. Adeolu said that this made it necessary
for the fish to be consumed in moderation to prevent health
complications.“Catfish is rich in two fatty acids – omega-3 fatty acids
and the omega-6 fatty acids.

“The omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the concentration of bad
cholesterol in the blood stream and increase the concentration of good
cholesterol in the blood stream.“It also helps protect the heart and the
cardiovascular system from any form of disease,prevents inflammation
within the body and helps reduce the quantity or concentration of
inflammatory substances in the body.

“The
underlining basis for most cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer,
Alzheimer disease and many other diseases that we know today, is chronic
inflammation, which signifies a long standing inflammation in the
body.“This is where the catfish controversy comes in.

A lot of reports have advised against eating it and this is because
although it contains omega-3fatty acids, which have many health
benefits, it contains more omega-6 fatty acids.“Omega-6 fatty acids are
pro-inflammatory in the sense that they increase the level of
inflammation within the body and make one more predisposed to any kind
of disease.“When catfish features a lot in your diet, you consume more
omega-6 fatty acids in your diet than the protective omega-3 fatty
acids.

“Therefore,
you are more predisposed to diseases if you consume a lot of
catfish.“The optimal ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids
is supposed to be four to one, but because the catfish is reared
artificially and is fed with synthesized food, the ratio can be up to
ten to one,’’ he said.

Mr. Adeolu also said even though there were a lot of controversies
surrounding the consumption of catfish, it still held some advantages
over most fishes consumed today.He said catfish was a good source of
protein, rich in essential amino acids needed to build muscles, bones
and different tissues in the body.

He explained that catfish contained a moderate amount of caloriesper
serving or per gram, hence, was an ideal choice for those watching their
body weight.

According
to him, catfish is rich in phosphorus and magnesium, which are
essential micro-nutrients that play a significant role in a lot of
biochemical processes in the body.

“Catfish has a very low amount of mercury, whichis very toxic to the
human body and can, when consumed in large quantities, damage the
nervous system,” Mr. Adeolu said.

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