Why Eating Fish Has Shown Some Promise in the Fight against Alzheimer’s

Scientists are working around the clock towards finding medications that can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease as safely and effectively as possible.  In the last ten years, scientists have found a surprising ally in salmon and certain other types of fish. So-called “fatty” or “oily” fish is high in essential fatty acids that have shown a beneficial effect on neurological development and health. Eating foods high in Omega 3’s can have a surprising effect not only on memory but on mood and other areas of brain function.

Omega 3 fatty acids are often lacking in our modern diet. They can be found in a variety of plant and animal sources. Omega 3’s can be found in Fish, eggs and some meat.

One of the main beneficial effects that Omega 3 fatty acids have on the body is calming inflammation. Inflammation is responsible for a wide variety of different health issues. It can also help to keep our cardiovascular system in good condition so that we are less prone to heart attacks, strokes and other issues directly related to our circulatory system. However, it is not these benefits that have Alzheimer’s researchers so excited.

Studies have shown that people who consume fish at least once a week are approximately 60% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. A second study, which helps to support the findings of the first study have proven that people with higher levels of DHA (one of the two main Omega 3 essential fatty acids that are found in salmon and fatty fish) show that over a ten-year period of time, participants who were free of the symptoms of dementia were much more likely to remain free of symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s. This was almost 50% less likely if the levels of DHA in the blood were low.

Note:  Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among the elderly.  According to recent estimates, as many as 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease!

But what is the link between EFA(Essential Fatty Acid)’s and Alzheimer’s, and why does eating fish help to delay or avoid developing the disease? It has to do with how Alzheimer’s affects the brain and the action of the fish on the system. Some of the symptoms of this disease include impaired memory, confusion, and an inability to perform simple daily routines. If one looks at the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s it is possible to see build ups of what are known as amyloid plaques within the brain. There are other changes such as the death of the cells responsible for memory and the tangling of nerve fibers to form what are known as neurofibrillary tangles.

Studies are beginning to show that DHA is capable of preventing the build-up of amyloid proteins or plaques within the brain. Researchers have also found that the EFA’s in salmon and other Omega 3 rich fish can also prevent the death of cells that allow the transfer of sensory information from one area of the brain to the next. If it is true that DHA in fish can help to protect the brain against the ravages of Alzheimer’s this may be one of the most significant breakthroughs that have been made to date.

Reference links:

The following article was written by Cole Watts who writes on behalf of US Medical Supplies and AmeriGlide.

Cole Watts

Cole Watts writes on behalf of US Medical Supplies, an online retailer of medical equipment and mobility aides.

5 thoughts on “Why Eating Fish Has Shown Some Promise in the Fight against Alzheimer’s

  • Pingback: Dementia Deterrent: Omega-3 | Humans Are Not Broken

  • December 9, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Omega 3 is really very beneficial to health. The more I read about it, the more benefits surface. Good for the heart, the brain, the eyes, the system in general. It is even great for people with mental health issues. And great for pregnant women. And now, great for people with Alzheimers. The list just goes on and on.

  • September 11, 2010 at 2:48 am

    Here in Australia we are encouraged to eat fish at least 3 times a week; especially fish high in calcium like salmon, tuna and sardines.
    Also a new breakthrough in treating dementia is just being trialled that was on our local news this week is using big doses of Vit B. Still in trial stage but I await the results with interest. Such a debilitating disease and so distressing for family members of a sufferer of this condition.
    Patricia Perth Australia

  • September 6, 2010 at 8:57 am

    I think we are all in agreeance that there needs to be more content on the subject of Alzheimers.
    From somebody whose grandmother is suffering from it, I have found that there really is very little information on the subject and we are limited on the number of places we can go to for information.

  • September 5, 2010 at 4:13 am

    Alheimers is a devastating disease that so many people will ignore until it is too late. Any research into the preventation of this disorder is most welcome. Thank you for the article.


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