Daily News: Nutrition

Fish eating can increase brain size: Study

National Herald Tribune (Pakistan)

02-19-14

A new study has claimed that eating more oily fish can give you a bigger brain in later life and also protect against diseases such as Alzheimer's.

The study says people with higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may have larger brain volumes in old age equivalent to preserving one to two years of brain health.Researchers say shrinking brain volume is a sign of Alzheimer's disease as well as normal ageing.Researchers measured levels of two essential omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, in the blood of 1,111 women taking part in the US Women's Health Initiative Memory Study.

Eight years later, when the women had an average age of 78, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were performed to measure their brain size.Dr Doug Brown, director of research at the Alzheimer's Society, said:

"It's interesting to see that eating more fish could lead to larger brain volume, particularly in the hippocampus - an area of the brain that comes under attack in dementia."We know that brain shrinkage can be linked to dementia and larger brain volumes could indicate a better ability to cope with the ravages of the condition, but it's a big leap to draw this conclusion."Whilst interesting, this study still leaves us in the dark about what effect eating fish has on the development of dementia.

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