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Omega-3s For Your Brain: A Cross Continental Study

A massive study spanning three continents and 7 countries determined that increased intakes of oily fish can significantly reduce dementia risk.

The study, which was published in the July issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, included almost 15,000 participants aged 65 and older.

For the study, cross-sectional surveys were conducted in low and middle-income countries, including China, India, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, and Peru.

The researchers also conducted face-to-face interviews for dietary habits and measured dementia using "a cross-culturally validated dementia diagnosis."

The researchers found that dementia risk decreased as fish intake increased.  Those with the highest fish intake had a 20% reduction in dementia risk compared to those with the lowest intakes.

Meat, on the other hand, seemed to have an opposite effect and modestly increased dementia risk.

Much of the science behind the benefits of increased fatty fish consumption revolves around the cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 essential fatty acids.  However, as the science behind the cognitive benefits of omega-3 grows, it is becoming just as compelling as the cardiovascular benefits.

With over 30 million people worldwide diagnosed with Alzheimer's (the most common form of dementia), findings such as these are becoming ever more important.

Beyond the obvious burden on those diagnosed with Alzheimer's and their families, the economic cost is also staggering. In the US alone, the direct and indirect cost of Alzheimer's adds up to an estimated 148 billion dollars annually.

To get more of these essential fatty acids in your diet try eating more oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, lake trout, and albacore tuna.  You can also take a high quality supplement that is high in the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA and certified for purity.

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