A new study of 15,000 people aged 65 and older in China, India, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, Peru and Dominican Republic found that those who ate fish nearly everyday were almost 20 per cent less likely to get dementia than those who ate fish just a few days a week.
Furthermore, adults who ate fish a few days a week were almost 20 per cent less likely to develop dementia than those who are no fish at all.
The findings appeared in the August issue of The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition.
Participants’ dietary habits were assessed through face-to-face interviews and dementia was diagnosed by using culturally validated criteria.
“There is a gradient – the more fish you eat, the less likely you are to get dementia,” sad Dr Emiliano Albanese, a clinical epidemiologist at King’s College London and the study’s senior author.
Meat had the opposite effect. “The more meat you eat, the more likely you are to have dementia,” he said.
Fish, especially oily fish, may be protective against dementia because it is rich in omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, which studies suggest may have numerous health benefits including anti-inflammatory properties.
In animal studies, omega-3 fatty acids were found to reduce the build-up of atherosclerotic plague and may also prevent amyloid plaque accumulating in the brain, a characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease, Dr Albanese said
- The New York Times