Eating foods containing omega 3 fatty acids including fish, chicken, salad dressing and nuts could lower levels of a protein linked with Alzheimer’s, a study published online in Neurology today (Wednesday, 02 May) suggests.
Researchers in New York studied the diets of 1,219 people over 65 without dementia for an average of 1.2 years, looking specifically for 10 nutrients including omega 3. Participants were then given a blood test for the protein beta amyloid. A hallmark of Alzheimer’s is the formation of plaques of this protein in the brain. The scientists found the more omega 3 fatty acids people ate, the lower the levels of beta amyloid in their blood.
Alzheimer’s Society comment:
‘This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard that good fats like omega 3 could reduce risk of dementia. Although this study didn’t go as far as looking specifically at the condition, it adds weight to a growing body of evidence.
‘However, the answer is not merely to enjoy the odd piece of fish or occasionally add some dressing to your salad. The best way to reduce your risk of dementia is to regularly eat an all-round balanced diet which could include these foods, as well as exercising often. It’s also important not to smoke and to get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly.’
Dr Anne Corbett
Research reference: Gu et al, ‘Nutrient intake and plasma B-amyloid’, published online in Neurology, Wednesday 02 May 2012.