A diet rich in certain omega-3 fatty acids may lower the risk of developing dementia, researchers report.
In a study of more than 2,000 older women and men followed for nearly five years, the more omega-3-rich oily fish they ate, the lower their risk of developing dementia.
The researchers looked specifically at the omega-3 fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eiosapentaenoic acid), found in salmon, sardines, tuna, halibut, and mackerel.
Foods like meat and dairy products that are packed with saturated fatty acids, particularly palmitic acid, on the other hand, were liked to an increased risk of dementia, says researcher Deborah Gustafson, PhD, of the University of Gothenburg’s Institute for Neuroscience and Physiology, in Sweden. She is a visiting scientist at State University of New York-Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The study doesn’t prove cause and effect, only that there is an association between different types of fatty acids and dementia.