Leading European experts recommend that people eat two portions of fish a week to prevent heart disease, whilst another study claims that the food can reduce your chance of developing Alzheimer’s.
Oily fish like mackerel contains high levels of omega-3
New guidance, compiled by the European Society of Cardiology at its conference EuroPrevent in Dublin, states that everyone should eat two portions of fish a week. One of the two portions should be oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardine or trout, because these contain the highest levels of omega 3 fatty acids.
Whilst supplements can be taken by people who do not like fish, the experts say they don’t contain other nutrients like vitamin D, selenium and iodine that may also be beneficial against cardiovascular disease.
And according to researchers from Columbia University Medical Centre in New York, those who eat plenty of oily fish could be lowering their risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers studied 1,219 people over 65 who had no signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia. They were questioned on their diet, lifestyle, and had their blood tested for levels of beta-amyloid plaques. Beta-amyloid plaques clump together in the brain, triggering the onset of the degenerative disease.
Scientists discovered that the harmful protein was lower in the blood systems of those who consumed the most omega-3 fatty acids in their diet.
It is thought that a daily dose could reduce a person’s chance of developing Alzheimer’s by up to 30%.
Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at the charity Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "While this study provides interesting clues that omega-3 fatty acids in diet may be linked to amyloid levels in blood, it doesn't show whether this directly translates to less toxic amyloid in the brain and a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease.
“So far, research into omega-3 supplements for prevention or treatment of Alzheimer's in people has not shown conclusive benefits.”
Because dementia is considered a chronic condition, it may not be covered by private medical insurance. For more information, compare health insurance policies online or speak to one of our advisors.
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