Fish consumption study

A new study conducted by researchers at Albanese of King’s College in London suggests adults over the age of 65 who regularly eat fish seem to have a lower risk of dementia.

The findings, published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, show that in nearly 15,000 older adults in China, India, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru and Venezula, the odds of developing dementia declined as fish consumption increased. The relationship between fish consumption and the risk of dementia held in every country except India.

For each increase in participants’ reported fish intake, based on a scale from never, to some days of the week, to most or all days of the week, the prevalence of dementia declined by 19 percent.

The results are based on a one-time survey and do not prove cause-and-effect. However, researchers plan to follow the study participants over time to see whether fish intake is related to developing dementia in the future.

Researchers say the benefits come from the omega-3 fatty acids, which have a number of properties that could help stave off dementia, including actions that protect nerve cells, limit inflammation and help prevent the build-up of the amyloid proteins seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.

The study also showed that adults who got the most meat in their diets tended to have a somewhat higher occurrence of dementia than those who never ate meat.

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