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Fish consumption and cardiovascular response during mental stress

Kenta Matsumura16*, Takehiro Yamakoshi2, Hiroko Noguchi136, Peter Rolfe4 and Yutaka Matsuoka1567

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Adult Mental Health, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1 Ogawa-Higashi, Kodaira, Tokyo, 187-8553, Japan

2 Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, 920-1192, Japan

3 Clinical Psychology Center, Musashino University, 3-40-10 Sekimae, Musashino, Tokyo, 180-0023, Japan

4 Department of Automatic Measurement and Control, Harbin Institute of Technology, No.92 West Da-Zhi Street, Harbin, Heilongjiang, 150001, China

5 Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Research Institute, National Disaster Medical Center, 3256 Midori-cho, Tachikawa, Tokyo, 190-0014, Japan

6 CREST, Japan Science and Technology Agency, 3256 Midori-cho, Tachikawa, Tokyo, 190-0014, Japan

7 Translational Medical Center, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1 Ogawa-Higashi, Kodaira, Tokyo, 187-8551, Japan

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:288  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-288

Published: 13 June 2012



Frequent fish consumption is related to a lower risk of coronary heart disease. However, the physiological mechanisms underlying this cardioprotective effect are as yet unknown. We therefore examined certain cardiovascular physiological variables of fish eaters during rest, whilst conducting mental arithmetic, and during recovery.


The participants were 12 fish eaters (eating baked fish more than 3–4 times/week) and 13 controls (eating fish less than 1–2 times/week). Analysis of the collected data revealed that heart rate, blood pressure, and pulse wave velocity were significantly lower and pre-ejection period and baroreflex sensitivity were significantly higher in the fish eaters than in the controls during both rest and mental arithmetic, and that systolic and mean blood pressure recovery from mental arithmetic were faster in the fish eaters than in the controls.


These findings suggest a possible physiological mechanism that may explain why frequent fish consumption reduces coronary heart disease risk.

Fish consumption; Hemodynamics; Impedance cardiography; Arterial stiffness; Coronary heart diseases; Omega-3 fatty acids