Eskimos (more properly referred to as the Inuit) eat large quantities of fish rich in oils. Eskimos often appear to be relatively fat, yet suffer low levels of cardiovascular disease. This unexpected combination of a fatty diet and low heart disease is thought to be due to the special nature of the fish oils consumed. The blood of Eskimos takes significantly longer to clot than the blood of those on a Western diet. This longer clotting time is believed to reduce the risk of heart disease. The particular fatty acids thought to be responsible for this beneficial effect include omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. arachidonic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid) and other polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.