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Video: Fish Can Protect The Brain From The Harmful Effects Of Dirty Air
Fish can protect the brain from the harmful effects of dirty air
The omega-3 acids found in fish counteract neurotoxins. They protect the parts of the brain that are responsible for memory and coordination against degenerative changes.
Air pollution is bad for the health of the brain. It is known that under the influence of a high concentration of small particles (PM 2.5) in the brain, atrophic changes occur over time, and cognitive abilities decrease.
Scientists have found that regular consumption of fish helps prevent the harmful effects of polluted air on the brain. It contains omega-3 fatty acids that protect the nervous system. New research published in Neurology.
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The study authors compared the blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids in older women who live in areas with high air pollution with the health of their brains. They found that women with the highest concentration of these substances in the blood had much less brain atrophy than women with the lowest levels.
“Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 acids that can be easily incorporated into the diet. They are known to alleviate inflammation and maintain brain structure as we age. Omega-3 acids have been shown to reduce the damaging power of neurotoxins, including mercury and lead. So we decided to test their protective effect against another neurotoxin, small particles of polluted air,”said Dr. Ka He of Columbia University, co-author of the study.
The study involved 1315 women, about 70 years old, who did not suffer from dementia. They answered in detail questions about their diet, lifestyle, and medical history. Using their nutritional data, the scientists calculated how much omega-3 they were getting. Fried fish was not included in the calculations because it is known that these substances can be destroyed with this method of preparation.
The participants underwent blood tests to measure the level of omega-3 acids. They underwent magnetic resonance imaging to determine the state of the brain. Scientists have determined the level of pollution near women's houses for the last three years.
When examining the brain, scientists focused on the state of the hippocampus (the area of the brain that is responsible for memory) and white matter (which ensures the coordinated work of all parts of the brain). In women who received the maximum amount of omega-3 acids from food, these parts of the brain underwent much less atrophic changes than in the rest of the study participants.
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"Research shows that the high levels of omega-3 acids in the blood from eating fish can preserve the brain volume of women as they age and likely protect against the toxic effects of pollution," He said.