Eating fish cuts risk of dementia

Elderly people who eat fish or seafood at least once a week are at lower risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, finds a study in this week’s BMJ.

Using data from a large ageing study, a team of French researchers set out to test whether there was a relation between consumption of fish (rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids) or meat (rich in saturated fatty acids) and risk of dementia.

The study involved 1,674 people aged 68 and over without dementia and living at home in southwestern France. Their frequency of consumption of meat and fish or seafood was recorded as daily, at least once a week (but not every day), from time to time (but not every week), or never. Participants were followed up two, five, and seven years afterwards.

Participants who ate fish or seafood at least once a week had a significantly lower risk of being diagnosed as having dementia in the seven subsequent years. When education was taken into account, the strength of the association was slightly reduced, suggesting that this “protective” effect was partly explained by higher education of regular consumers, say the authors. They found no significant association between meat consumption and risk of dementia.

As well as providing vascular protection, the fatty acids contained in fish oils could reduce inflammation in the brain and may have a specific role in brain development and regeneration of nerve cells, suggest the authors.

Healthy dietary habits acquired in infancy could be associated with achievement of higher education. Highly educated people might also adhere more closely to dietary recommendations on fish consumption, they conclude.

Media Contact

Emma Wilkinson alfa

All latest news from the category: Health and Medicine

This subject area encompasses research and studies in the field of human medicine.

Among the wide-ranging list of topics covered here are anesthesiology, anatomy, surgery, human genetics, hygiene and environmental medicine, internal medicine, neurology, pharmacology, physiology, urology and dental medicine.

Back to home

Comments (0)

Write a comment

Newest articles

Giant mantle plume reveals Mars is more active than previously thought

Orbital observations unveil the presence of an enormous mantle plume pushing the surface of Mars upward and driving intense volcanic and seismic activity. On Earth, shifting tectonic plates reshuffle the…

Space atomic clocks could help uncover the nature of dark matter

Studying an atomic clock on-board a spacecraft inside the orbit of Mercury and very near to the Sun might be the trick to uncovering the nature of dark matter, suggests…

Photon-efficient volumetric imaging with light-sheet scanning fluorescence microscopy

New method harnesses image scanning superresolution for enhanced photon efficiency in light-sheet microscopy. In biological imaging, researchers aim to achieve 3D, high-speed, and high-resolution, with low photobleaching and phototoxicity. The…

Partners & Sponsors