Fish oils could improve brain power

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Its official; fish oil is good for you. Most of us already knew that anyway,  and years ago many of you probably took a teaspoon of cod liver oil daily. I can still remember the taste to this day; it was disgusting! Nowadays its a lot easier to take fish oil capsules which are easily swallowed and digested.

Last week we reported about a new study by Aberdeen University published in September showed that regular exercise and having regular doses of fish oils helped to stop natural muscle wastage in people over 40 who normally start to loose from half to two percent of muscle per annum. See:  http://www.silversurfers.com/the-benefits-of-eating-fish/

In a similar study at Rhode Island Hospital in the USA in the Alzheimer’s and memory disorders centre the scientists found a strong link between cognitive functions in older people and fish oils. The theory is that the oils reduce inflammation which is often found in elderly peoples brains.

Lori Daiello who is the assistant professor of neurology at the Rhode Island Hospital Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center, conducted the study with colleagues. The study included 819 individuals, and of these 117 said they had regular use of fish oil supplements before entry and during the study follow-up. The researchers compared cognitive functioning and brain atrophy for patients who reported routinely using these supplements, to those who were not using fish oil supplements.

Assistant Professor Daiello reported that compared to non-users, use of fish oil supplements was associated with better cognitive functioning during the study. However, this association was significant only in those individuals who had a normal baseline cognitive function and in individuals who tested negative for a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease known as APOE4. This is consistent with previous research.

Daiello says, “In the imaging analyses for the entire study population, we found a significant positive association between fish oil supplement use and average brain volumes in two critical areas utilized in memory and thinking (cerebral cortex and hippocampus), as well as smaller brain ventricular volumes compared to non-users at any given time in the study. In other words, fish oil use was associated with less brain shrinkage in patients taking these supplements during the ADNI study compared to those who didn’t report using them.”

He also said “These observations should motivate further study of the possible effects of long-term fish oil supplementation on important markers of cognitive decline and the potential influence of genetics on these outcomes.”

There is so much evidence to suggest that buying fish oils could be worthwhile …  do you use them regularly?

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