Eat fish, add 2 yrs to your life

Older adults with higher levels of blood omega-3 levels —fatty acids found almost exclusively in fish and seafood — are likely to lower their overall mortality risk by 27% and mortality risk from heart disease by about 35%, a new Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Washington study has found. 

 It found older adults with highest blood levels of the fatty acids on an average lived 2.2 years longer than those with lower levels. Earlier studies have shown that consuming baked or broiled fish reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by almost five-fold. The latest results showed that people who did so at least once a week had better preservation of grey matter volume on MRI in brain areas at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. 

 In MCI, memory loss is present, but to a lesser extent than in Alzheimer’s. People with MCI often go on to develop Alzheimer’s. Grey matter volume is crucial to brain health. When it remains higher, brain health is maintained. Decrease in grey matter volume indicate that brain cells are shrinking. “Although eating fish has long been considered part of a healthy diet, few studies have assessed blood omega-3 levels and total deaths in older adults,” said lead author Dariush Mozaffarian. “Our findings support the importance of adequate blood omega-3 levels for cardiovascular health, and suggest that later in life these benefits could actually extend the years of remaining life.” 

 The study is the first to look at how objectively measured blood biomarkers of fish consumption relate to total mortality.

credit: TNN