`Snow Trout, Chocolate Mahseer fishes high in nutrient value`

Doctors may soon be seen prescribing fish varieties to their patients according to their disease.

Last Updated: May 06, 2011, 13:06 PM IST

Nainital: Doctors and dietitians may soon be seen prescribing fish varieties to their patients according to their disease, scientists at Indian Council of Agriculture Research have claimed.
A few fish species in the Himalayan region have already been profiled according to their nutritional value and these will be prescribed to patients by their doctors or dietitians, said a researcher at ICAR.

"The categorising of the fishes according to the nutrients found in them will be of great help to dietitians and doctors to prescribe appropriate fishes to patients," said P C Mahanta, who heads the Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research (DCFR), Bhimtal.

"As fishes are easily available and a cheap diet in many remote areas of India, it will help to give a new dimension for public health security in the country," he said.

In this chain of research, the Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries, an arm of ICAR, has profiled five species of fishes found in the Himalayan region.

The five fishes--Golden Mahseer, Chocolate Mahseer, Rainbow Trout, Snow Trout and Common Carp have been profiled according to various nutrients such as fatty acids, protein, minerals, vitamins and polyunsaturated fatty acids found in them.

Among the five species, Chocolate Mahseer and Snow Trout found in the coldwater reservoirs of Himalayan states like Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir ranked top according to their nutrient value, claimed researchers.

These fishes can be used to tackle obesity, strengthen immune system, improve blood circulation and catalyse tissue healing and tissue re-growth, said a scientist.

"Coldwater fishes are generally rich in Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids which helps in preventing heart diseases particularly coronary heart diseases and arthritis," said Debajit Sharma, Senior Scientist and in-charge of the project at the centre.

PTI