Beating dementia by eating fish

Aiming right The more fish you eat, the less likely you are to get dementia.

One of the largest efforts to document a connection — and the first such study undertaken in the developing world — has found that older adults in Asia and Latin America were less likely to develop dementia if they regularly consumed fish. And the more fish they ate, the lower their risk, the report found. The findings appear in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study, which included 15,000 people 65 and older in China, India, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, Peru and the Dominican Republic, found that those who ate fish nearly every day were almost 20 per cent less likely to develop dementia than those who ate fish just a few days a week. Adults who ate fish a few days a week were almost 20 per cent less likely to develop dementia than those who ate no fish at all.

“There is a gradient effect, so the more fish you eat, the less likely you are to get dementia,” said Dr Emiliano Albanese, a clinical epidemiologist and the senior author of the study. “Exactly the opposite is true for meat,” he added. “The more meat you eat, the more likely you are to have dementia.” Other studies have shown that red meat in particular may be bad for the brain.

Diet has no effect on autism
Many parents put their autistic children on strict gluten-free or dairy-free diets, convinced that gastrointestinal problems are an underlying cause. But a new study suggests that the complicated diets may not be warranted. Researchers reviewed the medical records of more than 100 autistic children over 18 years and compared them with more than 200 children without the disorder. They found no differences in the overall frequency of gastrointestinal problems reported by the two groups, although the autistic children suffered more frequently from bouts of constipation.

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