Benefits of Eating Fish Include Reducing Alzheimers Risk

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If you are concerned about your Alzheimer's risk, here's some intriguing news on the benefits of eating fish. Intake of foods high in omega-3 like fatty fish and nuts may protect the aging brain from this devastating illness according to some new research.

The study discovered that those who ate diets with the highest amounts of omega-3 showed the lowest blood levels of beta-amyloid, a protein. These deposits are usually found during autopsy of the brains of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Some studies have found that elevated blood levels of this protein can predict Alzheimer's before the memory loss even takes hold.

In the last work, older adults who were not showing signs of age related memory loss were asked about foods that they commonly ate to get an accurate take of nutrients. These included vitamins B12, vitamins C, D and E and some fatty acids. Blood tests were done (on average) 12 months after the survey on diet and found that those who consumed the highest volumes of omega-3 fatty acids showed reduced beta-amyloid levels, though the link was not found with any of the other nutrients studied .

Even a minor increase in average daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids was found to be linked with a significant lower beta amyloid level according to researchers. Knowing that omega-3s help protect against dangerous heart disease, we now may be finding that it may also help the brain stay strong and healthy as well.

There are two kinds of beneficial diet omega-3s …

– ALA – alpha-linolenic acid, found in soybean and canola oil, some nuts and flaxseed

– DHA – docosahexaenoic acid, found in oily fish like salmon, sardines.

Earlier work by researchers also found a relationship between the Mediterranean diet, rich in omega-3s and protection against debilitating Alzheimer's disease. This way of eating includes lots of fruits and veggies, nuts and fish and is low in red and processed meats and high in fat dairy products like butter.

A 2010 study that included over 2,000 older adults (with no signs of memory decline) showed that those who followed the Mediterranean diet most closely had the least chance of being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease over the four years of study follow up.

A more recent study incorporating brain imaging also suggests that omega-3s have a part to play in protecting the aging brain. This work found that older adults not diagnosed with dementia, who were deficient in omega-3s also showed the smallest brains. Reduced brain size is a signal of an aging brain. Still, while it's too soon to tell those worried about Alzheimer's disease to up their intakes of omega-3 foods (or take supplements) to fight this disease, there are many other reasons to go for these good for you choices.

While there's lots of research that looks at the impact omega-3 fatty acids have on alzheimer's risk, it's still very early. Your best bet if you want to keep your brain sharp as you age is to eat a well-rounded healthy diet, stay active and get your sleep.

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Source by Kirsten Whittaker

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