A study in the British Medical Journal shows that elderly people who eat fish or seafood at least once a week are at low risk for becoming senile and developing Alzheimer's disease. Doctors followed 1,674 healthy people over age 67. Participants who ate fish or seafood at least once a week had a significantly lower risk of being diagnosed with dementia seven years later.

The authors found no association between eating meat and senility. Nobody really knows how fish oils may prevent senility, but the theory is that the omega-3 fish oils reduce inflammation and swelling in the brain, while oils high in omega-6's such as corn oil or safflower oil increase swelling. Every risk factor for heart attacks is also a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, and several treatments to prevent heart attacks also prevent Alzheimer's disease. HGMG reductase inhibitor drugs prevent heart attacks and also help to prevent senility. So may fish oils.

Fish, meat, and risk of dementia: cohort study BMJ Volume 325, pp 932-3, October 22, 2002

Checked 8/9/05

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