Fish Oils also tied to lower risk of dementia in middle-income and poorer countries

August 20, 2009

British researchers investigated any contribution of fish to lowering the risk of dementia in Latin American countries, in China, and in India. One-phase cross-sectional surveys were conducted in all residents aged 65 or older in 11 catchment areas in China, India, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, and Peru. A total of 14,960 residents were assessed by using the 10/66 standardized protocol, which includes face-to-face interviews for dietary habits and a cross-culturally validated dementia diagnosis.

The researchers found a dose-dependent inverse association between fish consumption and dementia giving about a 20% reduction in risk that was consistent across all sites except India and a less-consistent, dose-dependent, direct association between meat consumption and prevalence of dementia with meat eating associated with a 20% jump in the risk of dementia.

The results extend findings on the associations of fish and meat consumption with dementia risk to populations in low- and middle-income countries and are consistent with mechanistic data on the neuroprotective actions of omega-3 (n3) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids commonly found in fish. The study is published in the August 1, 2009 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.