Fish Great For Your Brain

Because nearly every one of us could benefit from a boost in our mental faculties, a recent study found seniors who ate one fish meal a week had a 10 percent slower annual decline in thinking. That translates to three or four years of extra protection. And, the news was even better for patients who ate fish twice a week: Their annual decline slowed by 13 percent.

Scientists evaluated the performance of more than 3,700 patients (older than age 64) on simple memory tests three times over a six-year period. Participants also filled out questionnaires about their diet during that time.

However, I'm very surprised researchers failed to find a link many other studies have between fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids and improved brain functioning, although one expert believed the food questionnaire might have been too broad, thus faulty.

This news would certainly be worth celebrating, if fish weren't so contaminated with mercury. Because this toxic substance rapidly accumulates in the food chain, it is commonly found in higher concentrations of larger, older fish and predatory species like shark, tuna and swordfish that consumers buy in most all grocery stores.

Your safest option to get the benefits fish without the mercury: Taking a high quality fish or cod liver oil daily.

Archives of Neurology October 10, 2005 Free Full-Text Article

USA Today October 11, 2005

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