Fish consumption linked with brain health

December 14, 2005 in Nutrition Topics in the News

Fish consumption linked with brain health

Researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have found that eating fish on a weekly basis may actually reduce the rate of mental decline in older adults.

Researchers followed over 3,500 study participants aged 65 and older for a period of 6 years. At the end of the study period, researchers found that elderly people who ate fish at least once a week showed a 10% slower decline in their mental function, equivalent to a three-year reduction in mental age.

Individuals who consumed fish at least twice a week experienced a 13% slower decline, equivalent to a four year reduction in mental age.

While it is known that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 acid, is essential for the development of the brain in early life, more recent research is demonstrating its importance for mental function in later life.

According to researchers, a separate analysis of omega-3 fatty acid consumption did not find it affected cognitive function, but researchers said this may have been because their information was not precise enough. Researchers have launched another study to look specifically at the effect of these nutrients on mental function.

Nevertheless, researchers do suggest that eating fish protects the brain, either through its own fatty acid content or by knocking foods other foods that are high in saturated fat off the menu.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.