Here's a new article making headlines from this month's Journal of the American Heart Association. We've known for some time that consumption of fish, a food high in natural Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) appears to be associated with reduced risk of stroke and heart disease. This study gives new information that increased intake of PUFAs may also be associated with reduced risk of subclinical brain infarcts and brain atrophy as well.
The authors followed over 3600 senior adults for a period of five years using before and after MRIs to assess brain health. Patients with any prior TIAs or stroke were excluded from the study. Additionally they measured plasma levels of circulating PUFAs. After adjusting for other variables, they found that patients with higher PUFA levels in the blood were significantly less likely to have experienced subclinical brain infarcts or brain atrophy during the five year follow up period. Patients with higher PUFA levels also tended to show better grades of white matter as well.
It appears, at least among older adults, that increased consumption of food high in Omega-3s is associated with reduced risk of brain injury from subclinical infarction as well as white matter degradation over time. Eat more fish!
Author: Mark R Payne DC
Link to Abstract: