New research claims that eating fish daily helps keep your brain young. Researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles revealed that diets deficient in Omega-3 fatty acids can accelerate brain shrinkage and cognitive decline. Researchers believe that omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils may reduce inflammation of the brain and play significant role in brain development and nerve cell regeneration.
In latest study researchers carried out brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans, tests for mental function and omega-3 fatty acids in red blood cells of nearly sixteen hundred people of an average age sixty-seven. The brain scans showed a higher rate of brain shrinkage in those who were deficient of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the blood.
DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid which helps nerve communiqué with each other. Study participants whose DHA levels were among the bottom had smaller brain than those with higher DHA levels. Low levels of all omega-3 fatty acids were also associated with poor test scores for problem solving, multi-tasking, visual memory and abstract thinking.
Lead author Dr Zaldy S.Tan, MD, MPH, stated people with lower blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids had lower brain volumes that were equivalent to about two years of structural brain ageing. The best dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids is oily fish because the human body itself cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids.
The study findings were published in the journal Neurology, which is the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. People consuming the least amount of omega-3 fatty acids had less brain mass equal to about two years of chronological ageing. Types of fish that contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids include tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and anchovies.
One strong point of this study is that it used blood samples to measure dietary intake of omega- 3 of the people, rather than relying on answers to questionnaires to evaluate the link between omega 3 and cognition, explained Dr Marie Janson, Director of Development at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity.