Can’t remember what you had for dinner yesterday? Have the fish tonight.
A new study has confirmed that a diet lacking in omega-3 fatty acids -- nutrients commonly found in fish -- may cause your brain to age faster and lose some of its memory and thinking abilities, according to a new study.
Researchers, writing in the journal Neurology, said boosting levels of the beneficial nutrients could slow the progression of age-related declines in cognitive abilities.
They study, led by scientists at the University of California-Los Angeles, involved analyzing the MRI brain scans of 1,575 healthy people -- with an average age of 67. Participants were also given tests that measured mental function, body mass and the omega-3 fatty acid levels in their red blood cells.
The researchers found that people with low levels of two nutrients in omega-3 fatty acids -- DHA and EPA – had “lower brain volumes” (a measurement of cognitive abilities) and scored lower on tests of visual memory and executive function, such as problem solving and multi-tasking and abstract thinking.
"People with lower blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids had lower brain volumes that were equivalent to about two years of structural brain aging," said study author Dr. Zaldy S. Tan, of UCLA’s Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research and the Division of Geriatrics.