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Gay Men's Health Crisis
Treatment briefs: High Fish Diets May Reduce Immune Capacity
David Gold
March 1, 1994
GMHC Treatment Issues 1994 Mar 1; 8(1): 10

Diets high in fish may negatively impact the immune system, according to a report in The Journal of Clinical Investigation (July 1993; 92:105-113). Researchers from Tufts University studied the effects of high fish diets on healthy HIV-negative individuals. In the study, 22 people were given a standard six week diet and then randomized to either low- fat, low fish diets or low-fat, high fish diets for 24 weeks. A full range of immune markers were studied. Those on the high fish diet had reduced lymphoproliferative responses, reduced delayed hypersensitivity skin tests reactions, significantly reduced percentages of CD4 cells, and increased percentages of CD8 cells. Individuals on the low fish diet had no significant changes in these immune markers. Readers are advised that this is only one small study and definitive conclusions about eating cooked fish cannot be made at this time. There is, however, more clear support for being cautious about eating raw fish such as sushi, because of the possibility of bacterial and parasitic infections.

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