Fish-rich diet, leptin, and body mass

Mikolaj Winnicki, Virend K. Somers, Valentina Accurso, Bradley G. Phillips, Massimo Puato, Paolo Palatini, Paolo Pauletto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Background - Leptin has been implicated in cardiovascular disease. A diet rich in fish has been associated with decreased cardiac and vascular risk. Methods and Results - We examined the relationship between diet and leptin in 2 related homogeneous African tribal populations of Tanzania. One tribe consumes freshwater fish as their main diet component (n=279), and the other tribe consumes a primarily vegetarian diet (n=329). In multivariate analysis, plasma leptin levels were associated with type of diet (F=14.3, P<0.001), independent of age, body mass index, body fat, alcohol consumption, or insulin. Both male (2.5±2 [fish diet] versus 11.2±2.4 [vegetarian diet] ng/mL, P=0.017) and female (5.0±1.9 [fish diet] versus 11.8±1.4 [vegetarian diet] ng/mL, P=0.007) fish eaters had lower plasma leptin levels than did their vegetable diet counterparts, even though body mass index values were virtually identical. Conclusions - A diet rich in fish is associated with lower plasma leptin, independent of body fat. These findings may have implications for understanding the reduced cardiovascular risk in subjects on a high-fish diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-291
Number of pages3
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 16 2002


  • Diet
  • Fatty acids
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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