An October 2002 study published in the British Medical Journal indicates that people who consume fish are less likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.
The researchers examined the eating habits of 1,416 adults in France age 68 and older who did not suffer from dementia at the beginning of the study. The researchers determined how much meat and seafood the subjects consumed and followed them for two, five and seven years to see how many developed dementia.
During the seven years of follow up, 170new cases of dementia occurred, including 135cases of Alzheimer's disease. The researchers determined that people who ate fish or seafood at least once a week had a significantly lower risk of developing dementia. Those who ate fish once weekly were found to be 34 percent less likely to develop dementia than those who consumed less or no fish.
It is thought that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish are what may protect against Alzheimer's and dementia. Omega-3 fatty acids may protect the brain by reducing inflammation, maintaining blood vessel health and playing a part in the regeneration of nerve cells.
Barberger-Gateau P, Letenneur L, Deschamps V, Pérès K, Dartigues JF,Renaud S.Fish, meat, and risk of dementia: cohort study. British Medical Journal. October 25, 2002;325:932-933.