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Omega 3 in Fish Diet may slow Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease

October 11th 2005

Omega 3 in Fish Diet may slow Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease

A dish of fish is healthy

There appears to be a new reason to eat fish.  By eating fish just once a week a person can slow his or her memory loss associated with aging by 10%.  By eating fish even more frequently memory loss can be slowed by 13%. 

The study was posted in the Archives of Neurology, a JAMA journal.  It will appear in the December print edition.  Martha Clare Morris, ScD, of Rush University Medical Center, and colleagues analyzed six years of data from an ongoing study of 3,718 Chicago residents, 65 years and older between the years 1993 and 1997 and then followed up with an interview every three years. 

They compared standardized cognitive tests of the participants, and questioned them about their eating habits.  Participants were asked questions concerning the consumption of 139 different foods as well as their daily activities, exercise levels, alcohol consumption and medical history.

 

The dietary intake of fish was inversely associated with cognitive decline.  According to Martha “The rate reduction is the equivalent of being three to four years younger in age.” The rate did not change after adjusting for fruit and vegetable consumption.   

Fish is a great source for omega-3 fatty acids.  These acids have been shown to be essential for neuro-cognitive development and normal brain functioning.  Fish has been associated with a lower risk of dementia and stroke.  It has also been shown that the consumption of one omega 3 fatty acid in particular, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is important for memory performance in aged animals. 

Omega 3 fatty acid is important constituent of brain cell membranes.  This may be why fish has the effect of helping cognitive ability.  Other studies have found that eating fish has reduced the risk of heart attack, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.    

Previous studies have shown that mercury has had the opposite effect as omega-3.  It may be good idea to stick to fish that have lower levels of mercury.  The FDA has published a chart and has found that swordfish and shark have high levels of mercury while ocean perch and Tilapia have low levels. 

This study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

 

 

Rush University Study

Mercury Level Chart

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

Fish Diet and Recipes

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:40 PM