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Eating oily fish could slash risk of Alzheimer’s by 50%

The results could lead to a cheap, low-risk way to save billions in treatment.

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By Jim Leffman via SWNS

Eating oily fish like mackerel or salmon could slash your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by nearly 50 percent, a new study has revealed.

woman eating salmon slices on bread in restaurant
(ESB Professional/Shutterstock)

Scientists found that people with high levels of omega-3 DHA in their blood were at 49 percent lower risk of getting the debilitating brain condition.

This was particularly true for those carrying the ApoE4 gene which doubles the chances of getting Alzheimer's.

Study authors from the Fatty Acid Research Institute (FARI) in the US said their results could lead to a cheap, low-risk way to save billions in treatment.

The research took place within the Framingham Offspring Cohort and included 1,490 people aged 65 or over who did not have Alzheimer's.

Researchers examined the association of red blood cell marine omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) with Alzheimer’s Disease while also testing for interaction with ApoE4 gene carriership.

There are three types of Omega-3, DHA and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) both found particularly in oily fish, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) found in plants which is not as good for you.

The study said that providing extra dietary Omega-3 DHA could slow the onset of the disease.

Grill Mackarel fish japanese food
Alzheimer's cost the US approximately $355 billion in the US in 2021. (FotoFeast/Shutterstock)

If those with the lowest levels were to reach those with the highest, they would gain an extra 4.7 years free of Alzheimer's.

Study author Dr. Aleix Sala-Vila said: "The risk for Alzheimer's disease in the highest DHA fifth was 49% lower compared with the lowest fifth.

"Delaying Alzheimer's disease by five years leads to 2.7 additional years of life, and 4.8 additional Alzheimer-free years for an individual who would have acquired Alzheimer's.

“Given that estimated health-care payments in 2021 for all patients with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias amount to $355 billion in the US (not including caregiving by family members and other unpaid caregivers), any cost-effective strategy for delaying its onset is of utmost public health interest."

Although only observational, the findings published in the journal Nutrients support similar findings in the original Framingham Heart Study 15 years ago.

President of FARI, and senior author Dr. William Harris, said: “Most interestingly, 15 years ago similar findings were reported in the parents of the individuals who were the focus of this present investigation with a 47 percent in the risk of developing all-cause dementia.

“Similar findings a generation apart in a similar genetic pool provide considerable confirmation of this DHA-dementia relationship.”

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