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Eating fish can lower Alzheimer's risk

From lowering blood pressure and heart rate to reducing the risk of stroke, eating fish has proven to yield numerous health benefits. Now, results of a new study suggest that it may have more benefits than previously thought. Eating fish just once a week can help lower your risk of Alzheimer's disease, ABC News reports

The research, which was presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago, found that people who ate baked or broiled fish had more gray matter in the hippocampus than others. Scientists believe that people with more gray matter of a much lower chance of developing Alzheimer's disease. Interestingly, the findings did not apply to people who ate fried fish.

Researchers conducted the study by surveying 260 people about their fish-eating habits. Ten years after the initial questionnaire, they scanned the subjects brain using an MRI. The findings are important because it suggests a strong link between lifestyle choices and cognitive health, researcher Cyrus Raji told the news agency.

The health benefits of fish stem largely from the presence of omega-3 fatty acids. Experts say that the nutrients can help improve blood flow to the brain, which could be part of the reason for the increased gray matter. Additionally, it may protect against the development of amyloid plaques, a common characteristic of Alzheimer's.

Though most fish has health benefits, the American Heart Association (AHA) says there are certain types that may have more omega-3 fatty acids than others. In particular, salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, and albacore tuna are all good sources of the nutrient. The AHA warns that some fish have high levels of mercury but those are usually larger, predatory species.  

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