Food and Behaviour Research

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27 Feb 2012 - HealthDay News - Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Protect the Aging Brain

Fish and seafood

Those who consumed the most did better on tests of mental functioning, study says

Middle-aged and elderly adults who regularly eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may slow the mental decline that leads to dementia, according to a new study.

Researchers found that people with the highest blood levels of these essential fatty acids -- found in fish such as salmon and tuna -- were more likely to perform well on tests of mental functioning and to experience less age-related brain shrinkage.

"We feel fatty acid consumption exerts a beneficial effect on brain aging by promoting vascular health," said study lead author Dr. Zaldy Tan, an associate professor in the Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research and the division of geriatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles. This might include reducing blood pressure and inflammation, he added.