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Jeff Sutherland

Twice the Energy with Half the Stress

Alzheimer’s Disease: 60% Reduction in Risk From Eating Fish Once a Week!

About 50% of existing disease can be avoided by nutritional strategies. One of the easiest to avoid is Alzheimer’s disease by eating fish once a week. Better yet, use pharmaceutical fish oil every day and protect your heart as well as your brain. Vitamin C and E in combination reduce the risk even further, but that is another paper.

Has your doctor told you this? Probably not. Surveys show that most cardiologists take Vitamin E and few ever tell their patients. I suspect neurologists are about the same. Is that malpractice? You decide.

Consumption of fish and n-3 fatty acids and risk of incident Alzheimer disease

Morris MC, Evans DA, Bienias JL, Tangney CC, Bennett DA, Wilson RS, Aggarwal N, Schneider J.

Arch Neurol. 2003 Jul;60(7):923-4.

BACKGROUND: Dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids improve brain functioning in animal studies, but there is limited study of whether this type of fat protects against Alzheimer disease.

OBJECTIVE: To examine whether fish consumption and intake of different types of n-3 fatty acids protect against Alzheimer disease.

DESIGN: Prospective study conducted from 1993 through 2000, of a stratified random sample from a geographically defined community. Participants were followed up for an average of 3.9 years for the development of Alzheimer disease.

PATIENTS: A total of 815 residents, aged 65 to 94 years, who were initially unaffected by Alzheimer disease and completed a dietary questionnaire on average 2.3 years before clinical evaluation of incident disease.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incident Alzheimer disease diagnosed in a structured neurologic examination by means of standardized criteria.

RESULTS: A total of 131 sample participants developed Alzheimer disease. Participants who consumed fish once per week or more had 60% less risk of Alzheimer disease compared with those who rarely or never ate fish (relative risk, 0.4; 95% confidence interval, 0.2-0.9) in a model adjusted for age and other risk factors. Total intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids was associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer disease, as was intake of docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3). Eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) was not associated with Alzheimer disease. The associations remained unchanged with additional adjustment for intakes of other dietary fats and of vitamin E and for cardiovascular conditions.

CONCLUSION: Dietary intake of n-3 fatty acids and weekly consumption of fish may reduce the risk of incident Alzheimer disease.