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Abstract

Nutrients are the substances which give nourishment to the body and promote growth. These nutrients are present in varieties of foods in various amounts. Fish is a source of aquatic food which can both be farmed and wild caught. Fish is rich in macronutrients: proteins, lipids and ash and micronutrients: vitamins and minerals. Proteins in the fish have immunoglobins that acts as defense mechanism against viral and bacterial infections and prevent protein calorie malnutrition. Lipids mainly LC n-3 PUFAs like EPA and DHA prevents cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases and maintains blood pressure and neuro-development in child. Selenium is important for the function of thyroid gland. Iron helps in synthesis of hemoglobin and prevents the occurrence of anemia. Calcium and vitamin D naturally present in fish prevents rickets, low bone-mineral density and osteomalacia. Vitamin A in fish helps in normal growth, formation of bones and teeth. Despite these importances's, fish is still undervalued and less consumed compared to other animal protein sources due to lack of awareness. If the per capita consumption of the fish can be increased, then people can have many health benefits. People should be made known about the health benefits of fish. Many other researches should be conducted to make the nutritional value of fish known to the world.
ISSN: 2616-1923 (Online) Malaysian Journal of Halal Research Journal (MJHR) 2019, VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2
32
Significance Of Nutritional Value Of Fish For Human Health
Sujita Balami, Ayushma Sharma, Rupak Karn*
Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan, Nepal
*Corresponding Author email: coolrupak99@gmail.com
Doi: 10.2478/mjhr-2019-0012
Abstract:
Nutrients are the substances which give nourishment to the body and promote growth. These nutrients are present in varieties of foods in various amounts.
Fish is a source of aquatic food which can both be farmed and wild caught. Fish is rich in macronutrients: proteins, lipids and ash and micronutrients:
vitamins and minerals. Proteins in the fish have immunoglobins that acts as defense mechanism against viral and bacterial infections and prevent protein
calorie malnutrition. Lipids mainly LC n-3 PUFAs like EPA and DHA prevents cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases and maintains blood pressure and
neuro-development in child. Selenium is important for the function of thyroid gland. Iron helps in synthesis of hemoglobin and prevents the occurrence of
anemia. Calcium and vitamin D naturally present in fish prevents rickets, low bone-mineral density and osteomalacia. Vitamin A in fish helps in normal
growth, formation of bones and teeth. Despite these importances’s, fish is still undervalued and less consum ed compared to other animal protein sources
due to lack of awareness. If the per capita consumption of the fish can be increased, then people can have many health benefits. People should be made
known about the health benefits of fish. Many other researches should be conducted to make the nutritional value of fish known to the world.
Keywords: Fish, Nutrient, Health, Aquaculture.
1.0. Introduction:
Nutrients are the substances which nourish the body, promote growth, maintain and repair body parts [1]. Nutrients can be divided into micro and macro
nutrients which both are vital for good health. Macronutrients such as proteins, lipids, ash and carbohydrates are present in the fishes [2]. Micronutrients
such as vitamins and minerals are essential dietary elements that are essential in very small quantities i.e. they must be su pplied from outside sources to
the body [3]. Fish as a food has been playing key role in providing the nutrient to many animals as well as humans. Fish is a good source of food but also
have high nutritional value which improves health. Fish consumption in daily basis also has its role in the prevention of heart diseases [4].
Moisture, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins are important micro and macro nutrients that are responsible for implying nutritional value to the fish meat
[5]. Compared to other protein sources, macro and micro nutrients available in the fish makes it better [ 2]. Fish provides essential nutrients especially
proteins of high biological values and fats, so it is often referred as ‘rich food for poor people’ [6]. Protein and fats are the major nutrients of fish which
determine the nutritional value of fish [2]. Fish is a food with excellent nutritive value, which provides high quality protein and a large variety of vitamins
and minerals i.e. vitamin A & D, magnesium and phosphorus [7]. The micro and macro nutrients present in fish makes it better from other animal protein
sources [6]. Apart from being food source, fish also functions to prevent human beings from variety of diseases in the world [8]. Fish contains 15-20%
protein of its overall live body weight. The fish protein contains the essential amino acids which improves the overall nutritional quality of a mixed diet
[3,6]. A portion of 140gm of fish can provide about 50-60% of the daily protein required by an adult human [9]. Fish is also rich in micronutrients which
tend to be more easily available than those from plant foods [2]. As compared to land living animals, fishes are a rich source of protein and have a high
content of omega-3 long chain poly unsaturated fatty acids [10].
Humans consume fish in variety of ways by making different dishes. Fish has been an important food in the diet of humans, early before the beginning of
the civilization [10]. It has better availability and affordability than other animal protein sources. It is the cheapest source of animal protein. It is useful for
people from health point of view as it provides proteins, oils, vitamins and minerals [3]. Fish can be beneficial to be consumed whole as it shows high
protein-fat ratio as compared to meat of goat, lambs, buffalo and chicken [5]. In Nepal, fisher communities like Tharu, Chaudhary, Jalari, etc are involved in
fishing activities. Their main food is small indigenous species (SIS) captured from nearby rivers, lakes, marshy lands, reservoirs and small water bodies.
This provides a major protein diet to the people [3,11]. From nutritional point of view the macro and micronutrient present in fish are acceptable for human
consumption [2].
A search of literature throughout revealed a lot of things that are related to the nutritional importance of fish in human health. This study aims to provide
information of nutrients present in fish and its benefits to human health. Different nutrients present in fishes have unique and a very important function
in the human health. The information in this paper is useful to help people to include fish in their diets based on its nutrient values. It can also help people
to understand the benefits of eating fish. It can also make people aware of nutritional importance of f ish in preventing various diseases. However, while
fisheries in Nepal are becoming more documented, there still are gaps in research. Although there are a lot of benefits of consuming fish in our regular diets,
people are unaware of these benefits. Thus, to understand these data gaps and to highlight the nutritional importance of fish in human health, we conduct
a literature review to gain a clear understanding of the current status of the knowledge of fish nutrition in Nepal.
2.0. Biochemical Composition of Fish
Fish is known to have a lot of nutrients including micro and macro nutrients. The macro nutrients are proteins, lipids and a very little amount of
carbohydrate. The micronutrients like Vitamins and Minerals are very important constituent as well. The importance of various nutrients available in fish
is explained below.
Moisture
65-80%
Protein
15-20%
Fat
5-20%
Ash
0.5-2%
Source: (Mohanty, 2015)
2.1. Protein
60% of people from developing countries depend upon fish for over 30% of their animal protein supplies [6]. The unit cost of production of fish as compared
to other dietary protein source such as chicken, mutton, pork, beef, etc is much cheaper. Fish contains all the essential amino acids including sulphur -
containing amino acids: cysteine and methionine which are absent in plant protein [3,12]. Fish is an important source of animal protein and provides greater
satiety effect than other sources like chicken, beef, etc [3]. It is reported that the fish muscle is more digestible than other animal protein due to the presence
of lower level connective tissue [13]. Amino acid concentration of fish and digestibility of fish proteins is high i.e. 85-95% [12]. Fish protein is mainly
responsible for building and repairing muscle tissues, improving immunity and blood quality. Mohanty (2015) stated that fish being a potential source of
animal protein, can play an important role in preventing protein-calorie malnutrition (PCM). The protein immunoglobins can act an important defense
against bacterial and viral infections and helps in the maintenance of electrolyte and water balance in human system. The protein derived from fishes also
balances many body regulatory factors [6].
2.2. Fatty Acids
The composition of fatty acids in fish varies depending on factors such as species, diet and environmental factors like salin ity, temperature, season,
Unauthentifiziert | Heruntergeladen 14.11.19 11:49 UTC
ISSN: 2616-1923 (Online) Malaysian Journal of Halal Research Journal (MJHR) 2019, VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2
33
geographical location and whether the fish is wild or farmed [14]. Fish lipid contains long chain n-3 poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) particularly
eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA). PUFA in fishes is found in the liquid form which flows in the bloo d vessels freely and this
makes it different from other fats or oils [15]. The intake of PUFA has been considered important in human nutrition, health and disease prevention [6].
The omega-3 fatty acids have various effects in the human health. It decreases the rate of myocardial infarction [16]. It lowers the blood pressure and
triglyceride concentration in blood [17]. Fish lipids have shown a positive effect in preventing certain diseases like cardiovascular diseases [18]. Omega-3
fatty acids found in fatty fishes are known to be essential in the growth of children and prevent coronary heart disease [8]. The DHA is important for optimal
brain and neurodevelopment in children and on the other hand EPA helps to improve the cardiovascular health [19]. Studies that assess the mechanisms
of beneficial effects of fish lipids on health have shown that high levels of LC n-3 PUFA of at least 1 to 1.5 grams per day is required for the beneficial effects
in reduction of risk of cardiovascular diseases such as reduction of plasma triacylglycerol levels, blood pressure, platelet aggregation and the inflammatory
response [20]. During the pregnancy and lactation period, the mother should supply the fetus and infants with LC n-3 PUFA which is very essential for the
development of the central nervous system [21]. Lipids and fatty acids also play an important role in membrane mediated process such as osmoregulation,
nutrient assimilation and transport [6].
2.3. Minerals
Fish is an important source of micronutrients which are not widely available from other sources in the diets of poor people [22]. Compared to other minerals
Ca absorption to body is insufficient. Only 25 to 30% of Ca is absorbed by our body [23]. Besides milk and milk product, fish and fish bones are a good
source of Ca and it was shown that calcium absorption from fish is comparable to that of skimmed milk [19]. Ca is also important for bone density and
calcium ions play role in most of the metabolic process. Fish is very rich in minerals like iodine and selenium [24]. Small Indigenous Species (SIS) which are
consumed whole with heads and bones, can be an excellent source of many minerals such as iodine, selenium, zinc, iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium
[22]. Selenium is toxic in large doses to humans. But Selenium is important micronutrients for humans which functions in the form of selenoproteins as a
cofactor for reducing the antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase. This is also responsible for the function of thyroid gland. Low levels of
selenium can lead to risk of myocardial infarcts and increased death rate due to cardiovascular disease and has also been related with increased risk of
cancer and renal disease [25]. Iron is an important component for the synthesis of hemoglobin in RBCs which helps to transport oxygen to all parts of the
body. Deficiency of this mineral can cause anemia, impaired brain function and in infants it causes poor learning abilities and poor behavior [3].
2.4. Vitamins
The entire vitamins essential for human health is present in good amount in fish, but amount may vary according to the fish species [12]. Fish is a significant
source of vitamin A and D, and several vitamins of B- group [22,26]. Many foods are deficient in vitamin D naturally and foods that are fortified with vitamin
D is inadequate for a child’s or adult’s development [27]. Many species of fishes store large amount of vitamin A & D in their liver. Vitamin A helps for normal
growth, formation of bones and teeth, building of cells and it also prevents the problem of poor eyesight and helps in the treatment of many eye diseases
[12].Vitamin D in fish is found in the form of vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) which is also the same form being produced in the skin from 7- dehydrocholesterol
when exposed to ultra violet light and which was shown to have 3 times higher potential as compared to vitamin D (Ergocalciferol) [26, 28]. Vitamin D
deficiency leads to rickets, osteomalacia, a low bone mineral density (BMD) and increased cases of falling in people [29]. It is also connected with diabetes
[30]. Vitamin D deficiency exacerbates osteopenia, osteoporosis and fractures in adult. Fish and fish oils are the foods that contain Vitamin D naturally [27,
31, 32].
3.0. Discussion
Nutrition is a core pillar of human health. Fish is an important source of human nutrition. The nutrients present in fishes play a vital role in the health
improvement of people as well as it prevents many diseases that are likely to occur. The nutrients like proteins, lipids, and micronutrients help in many
ways to keep a human healthy. But there is still a lack of knowledge in the people about all the benefits of eating fishes. The government of Nepal has
recommended 30g fish or animal protein diet per day. In Nepal still people are not aware of the nutritional and health benefits s consuming fish. People still
prefer meats like chicken, mutton, etc instead of fish. But if we can make them aware of the health benefits of the fish, the per capita consumption of fishes
might be increased. Bogati N (2018) stated that, “The consumption of trout fishes can help reduce weight while retaining muscle mass and maintaining
appetite also [37].” Fish is also important for a healthy heart and promotes the development of brain and eyes. Globally the fish per capita consumption has
increased from 14.4kg in the 1990s and has crossed 20.3g in the 2016s [34]. But in Nepal it has been recorded only 1.97kg/year in 2010/2011 to 2.365kg
in 2013/2014 [35]. But this is not fulfilled in national scenario. The communities like Tharu, Majhi, Lodh, Gupta, Kumal, Gahar, Gaud, etc in Nepal were
firstly engaged in fish farming business. Now many communities are involved in this business but still there is no sufficient production of fishes to fulfill the
demand of the people.
While considering fish as food rich in nutrients, n-3 PUFA is a major constituent such as EPA and DHA. This makes a person healthy and prevents a lot of
diseases like cardiovascular diseases, lowers the blood pressure, neurodevelopment in child, etc. The demand of fish and fishery product is growing day by
day due to the fact that it consists of plentiful of essential nutrients for the health of people [36]. Abundant freshwater r esources originating from the
Himalayas are one of the factors which might give positive opinions on the aquaculture promotion in Nepal [37].
4.0. Conclusion
Fish is an important source of nutrients as it provides a good balance of proteins, vitamins, fats, lipids, minerals, etc and has a very low caloric content. The
nutritional value and health benefits of the fishes are unrecognized and undervalued. Despite a lot of benefits in the health of human, people are still
unaware of those benefits. So, people should be made aware about the nutritional benefits of consuming fish. Comparative studies can be conducted
between the benefits of meat and fish consumption in human health. This can enhance the consumption of fish due to high nutritional content recorded.
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... It is mainly accountable for building and repairing muscle tissues, improving blood quality and immunity. The protein immunoglobins act as an effective defence mechanism against viral and bacterial infections and also aids in the maintenance of water balance and electrolyte systems in humans (Balami et al., 2019). ...
... About 60% of people from developing countries rely upon fish for more than 30% of their animal protein supplies (Sujatha et al., 2013). In comparison with other dietary protein sources such as mutton, beef and chicken, the satiety effect of fish is generally regarded as much greater with the unit cost of production being cheaper (Balami et al., 2019). Pilla et al. (2014) reported that the protein content of the fish could be used as a vital tool in evaluating the latter's physiological standards. ...
... Studies have shown that an increased level of n-3 PUFA of about 1−1.5 g per day is mainly needed to bring a decline in the cardiovascular disease risk, including inflammatory response, blood pressure, plasma triacylglycerol levels, platelet aggregation (Balami et al., 2019). David (2013) reported that the foetus and infants must be supplied with n-3 PUFA all through the pregnancy and lactation period which are considered to be significant for the central nervous system development. ...
Article
Today, there is a growing awareness about the importance of eating nutritious foods and fish is gaining momentum as a result of its unique nutritional benefits. Fish are considered as nutritionally valuable part of the human diet because of the presence of both macronutrients (proteins, lipids and ash) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). These nutrients are indispensable in human nutrition and have proven to be involved in several metabolic functions. The nutritional content can be used to rank different fish species based on their nutritional and functional benefits, allowing consumers to make better decisions according to their requirements. Proximate composition of fish includes determination of moisture, protein, fat and ash contents, which constitutes about 96%−98% of the total constituents of the fish body. The study of these components gives us a clear understanding in assessing the energy value of the fishes. In the present study, an attempt has been made to provide a concise review about the proximate composition of various fish species from different parts of the world in order to evaluate the high‐protein, low‐fat food with excellent nutritional values and to enlighten the different exogenous and endogenous factors that are actually responsible for their variation. The review also provides an insight into the characteristics of the chemical composition of various fish species, which are gaining importance for the sector involving fish and fishery products for domestic and foreign trade and for appreciating as animal feed all over the world.
... It is mainly accountable for building and repairing muscle tissues, improving blood quality and immunity. The protein immunoglobins act as an effective defence mechanism against viral and bacterial infections and also aids in the maintenance of water balance and electrolyte systems in humans (Balami et al., 2019). ...
... About 60% of people from developing countries rely upon fish for more than 30% of their animal protein supplies (Sujatha et al., 2013). In comparison with other dietary protein sources such as mutton, beef and chicken, the satiety effect of fish is generally regarded as much greater with the unit cost of production being cheaper (Balami et al., 2019). Pilla et al. (2014) reported that the protein content of the fish could be used as a vital tool in evaluating the latter's physiological standards. ...
... Studies have shown that an increased level of n-3 PUFA of about 1−1.5 g per day is mainly needed to bring a decline in the cardiovascular disease risk, including inflammatory response, blood pressure, plasma triacylglycerol levels, platelet aggregation (Balami et al., 2019). David (2013) reported that the foetus and infants must be supplied with n-3 PUFA all through the pregnancy and lactation period which are considered to be significant for the central nervous system development. ...
Article
Today, there is a growing awareness about the importance of eating nutritious foods and fish is gaining momentum as a result of its unique nutritional benefits. Fish are considered as nutritionally valuable part of the human diet because of the presence of both macronutrients (proteins, lipids and ash) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). These nutrients are indispensable in human nutrition and have proven to be involved in several metabolic functions. The nutritional content can be used to rank different fish species based on their nutritional and functional benefits, allowing consumers to make better decisions according to their requirements. Proximate composition of fish includes determination of moisture, protein, fat and ash contents, which constitutes about 96%−98% of the total constituents of the fish body. The study of these components gives us a clear understanding in assessing the energy value of the fishes. In the present study, an attempt has been made to provide a concise review about the proximate composition of various fish species from different parts of the world in order to evaluate the high‐protein, low‐fat food with excellent nutritional values and to enlighten the different exogenous and endogenous factors that are actually responsible for their variation. The review also provides an insight into the characteristics of the chemical composition of various fish species, which are gaining importance for the sector involving fish and fishery products for domestic and foreign trade and for appreciating as animal feed all over the world.
... It is mainly accountable for building and repairing muscle tissues, improving blood quality and immunity. The protein immunoglobins act as an effective defence mechanism against viral and bacterial infections and also aids in the maintenance of water balance and electrolyte systems in humans (Balami et al., 2019). ...
... About 60% of people from developing countries rely upon fish for more than 30% of their animal protein supplies (Sujatha et al., 2013). In comparison with other dietary protein sources such as mutton, beef and chicken, the satiety effect of fish is generally regarded as much greater with the unit cost of production being cheaper (Balami et al., 2019). Pilla et al. (2014) reported that the protein content of the fish could be used as a vital tool in evaluating the latter's physiological standards. ...
... Studies have shown that an increased level of n-3 PUFA of about 1−1.5 g per day is mainly needed to bring a decline in the cardiovascular disease risk, including inflammatory response, blood pressure, plasma triacylglycerol levels, platelet aggregation (Balami et al., 2019). David (2013) reported that the foetus and infants must be supplied with n-3 PUFA all through the pregnancy and lactation period which are considered to be significant for the central nervous system development. ...
... For example, different bioactive peptides have been shown to exert antioxidant, antihypertensive, antimicrobial, and anti-obesity capacity, among others. On the other hand, they contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA), to which important bioactive properties are also attributed, such as anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective effects [4]. Nowadays, there is considerable evidence that its regular consumption has positive effects on health [4]. ...
... On the other hand, they contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA), to which important bioactive properties are also attributed, such as anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective effects [4]. Nowadays, there is considerable evidence that its regular consumption has positive effects on health [4]. These benefits are achieved through multifactorial physiological mechanisms, such as antioxidant activity, hormone mediation, improvement of the immune system and facilitation of the transit of substances through the digestive tract, the production of butyric acid in the colon, among others [4]. ...
... Nowadays, there is considerable evidence that its regular consumption has positive effects on health [4]. These benefits are achieved through multifactorial physiological mechanisms, such as antioxidant activity, hormone mediation, improvement of the immune system and facilitation of the transit of substances through the digestive tract, the production of butyric acid in the colon, among others [4]. However, various studies have reported the presence of heavy metals in these species, especially mercury in its inorganic form (methylmercury). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Current research has shown that oily fish, specifically pelagic species like blue shark (Pri-onace glauca), shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus), swordfish (Xiphias gladius) and bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), are a rich source of essential nutrients like proteins (15-21%), lipids (0.5-3.3%), carbohydrates, vitamins A and D and minerals, like calcium and selenium. In addition, they also contain bioactive compounds that have been reported to promote the health of the fish consumers. Bioactive compounds are components naturally present in food found in relatively small amounts, which after enzymatic hydrolysis at the gastrointestinal level, influence cellular and physiological activities, obtaining a positive effect on consumer health. These benefits are achieved through mul-tifactorial physiological mechanisms that include antioxidant, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, anti-microbial, antiviral, or immunomodulatory activity, among others. The increase in diseases such as cancer, hypertension or diabetes have caused the population to prefer with good nutritional foods but also exert beneficial effects on health. Some of the bioactive compounds reported in these species include bioactive peptides, omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and minerals. Therefore, in this work we have reviewed the scientific evidence of the benefits of consuming bioactive compounds from oily fish and their effect on physiological risk factors, molecular pathways, and bioactive me-tabolites.
... Foods from animals, birds (egg) and fish are rich sources of many nutrients, but are often expensive. Products from meat and fish animals are best sources of zinc (Rabia et al., 2018;Sujita et al., 2019), while dairy products, such as milk, are rich in calcium (Simum et al., 2012). Meat, fish and sea food all promote the absorption of non-heme iron. ...
... Fish is an essential source of nutrients, including animal protein, for human health worldwide [1]. However, not all fish catches from waterbodies are used adequately, and three differentiated types of waste are produced: discards, waste on board, and by-products and waste on land [2,3]. ...
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Conspectus on Inland Fisheries Management, 1st edited by A. K. Das and D. Panda, 08/2015: chapter # 2: pages 15-21; ICAR - Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute.
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Fatty acid composition was asssessed for yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) and sardine (Sardina pilchardus) canned in three different ways (brine, sunflower oil, olive oil) and subjected to two different sterilization treatments: retort- ing (as conventional treatment) and high pressure thermal sterilization (HPTS) (as alternative treatment). Impact of treatments on the fatty acid profile of the whole product was evaluated, particularly on the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) fraction since it is more susceptible to oxidation. Treatments were applied at pilot scale and the threshold for the sterilization factor was 7 min. HPTS treatment did not significantly affect the fatty acid profile of both canned tuna in brine and tuna in sunflower oil as compared with retorting. However, significant differences (p < 0.05) were observed in sardine in olive oil, where total PUFA content and the sum of eicosapentanoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid were nearly half in samples treated by HPTS. This work provides novel information on the impact of the combination of thermal treatment and high pressure as compared with classical retorting. Nevertheless, further investigation focused on the role of the prooxidants and antioxidants balance is necessary to confirm the oxidative effect of HPTS on PUFA content in oily fish species.