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Oily fish 'may protect brain health'

Oily fish 'may protect brain health'
5th August 2008

Eating oily fish may protect the brain against memory loss and other health problems, new research suggests.

According to the study published in the Neurology journal, people who ate fish high in omega-3 fatty acids three times a week showed an almost 26 per cent lower risk of having the silent brain lesions that can cause dementia compared to people who did not eat fish regularly, reports.

The data was obtained by undertaking brain scans of 3,660 people aged 65 or above and asking them to complete a questionnaire about their diet, with further scans carried out five years later.

It also found that those individuals who ate oily fish just once a week had a 13 per cent lower risk of developing such lesions.

Dr Jyrki Virtanen, from the University of Kuopio in Finland, pointed out that the positive effects were not apparent in people who regularly ate fried fish, but suggested the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA "would seem to have a major role" in the protective effects.

Last month, Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery and physiological science at the University of California, suggested that omega-3 fatty acids consumed in foods such as salmon and walnuts can protect against dementia.

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