The Secret Weapon in Battling Brain Decay

Dennis Faas's picture

We all do dumb things. I once lost my house keys for days, only to find them placed neatly underneath a bowl of salad in the kitchen fridge. Now, there's a response to these "mental farts": fish.

According to researchers at the University of Oxford in England, elderly men and women performed better when tested for memory, visual conception, motor skills, verbal fluency, general orientation, and even attention after they had consumed fish regularly over an extended period of time. According to Dr. A. David Smith, principal author of the Oxford study, "All six cognitive tests were performed better by those who ate fish." (Source:

It's not the first time fish has been lauded as a health saviour. Many health publications praise fish high in Omega 3 fatty acids -- like salmon -- for its heart-helping benefits. Still, this kind of research examining brain function is rather new.

In fact, when it comes to brain health it seems Omega 3s are not necessarily critical. Participants who consumed either lean or fatty fish as their primary meal attained better results in five of the six studied areas compared to those who kept to other meats.

Subjects were all senior citizens between the ages of 70 and 74. The 2,031 total participants were assessed on their cognitive ability in relation to their total consumption of fresh, frozen, or canned fish and seafood. Almost all of those taking part reported that they regularly consumed more than 10 grams of fish per day, with just 80 consuming less.

However, it was the participants who consumed the most fish that showed the best results in cognitive testing.

Dr. Smith believes the future of such studies must now approach the reason for these results. "We need to discover what components of fish are important," Smith said. Most surprising may be new evidence suggesting that Omega 3-laden fishes aren't the only that can have positive health benefits. (Source:

Maybe we should all be serving a nice smoked salmon -- instead of a juicy turkey -- these holidays.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet