NBC Nightly News (2/27, story 8, 1:45, Williams) reported a study suggesting that “people with low levels of Omega 3 fatty acids had brains with less volume compared with people who had higher levels of the same fatty acids.”
HealthDay (2/28, Storrs) cautions that the research “did not prove that omega-3 fatty acids prevent mental decline, merely that there may be an association between consumption of fatty acids and brain health.
WebMD (2/28) reports, “Previous studies have already shown that people who eat a diet high in fatty fish like salmon and tuna have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Researchers say these results may help explain why.”
Medical Commentary by Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC:
My mother often told me that fish was “brain food” as she fed me, my brother and my father tuna fish sandwiches and frozen fish sticks. I actually believed her, although in med school they never made that claim. Now, according to the Neurology Department at UCLA, she may have been right. They should put her name on that paper in the Feb 28 issue of the journal Neurology.
Many doctors are advocating fish oil capsules to achieve some anticipated health results having to do with protecting arteries from damage. But the bulk of fish oil clinical studies were done showing benefits from eating fish. Presumably taking fish oil capsules will be just as helpful as eating fish, but fish has many nutritional advantages beyond merely swallowing a two pound fish oil capsule each day.
In our book “Prevention Does Work: A Guide to a Healthy Heart” we recount the fish oil story. In addition, in Eileen’s heart healthy cookbook section, we purposely stress sea food preparation. Out of her 34 original and easy-to-prepare recipes, 15 are for seafood. Below is her clam chowder (the red kind) recipe which is a variation on the “Seafood Chowder with Red Potatoes” which is in the book.