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Tag: oily fish omega-3

Fatty Acids in Fish May Shield Brain from Mercury Damage

Fatty Acids in Fish May Shield Brain from Mercury DamageNew findings from research in the Seychelles provide further evidence that the benefits of fish consumption on prenatal development may offset the risks associated with mercury exposure.

In fact, the new study, which appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that the nutrients found in fish have properties that protect the brain from the potential toxic effects of the chemical.

Three decades of research in the Seychelles have consistently shown that high levels of fish consumption by pregnant mothers — an average of 12 meals per week — do not produce developmental problems in their children. Researchers have previously equated this phenomenon to a kind of biological horse race, with the developmental benefits of nutrients in fish outpacing the possible harmful effects of mercury also found in fish.

However, the new research indicates that this relation is far more complex and that compounds present in fish — specifically polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) — may also actively counteract the damage that mercury causes in the brain.

“These findings show no overall association between prenatal exposure to mercury through fish consumption and neurodevelopmental outcomes,” said Edwin van Wijngaarden, PhD., and associate professor in the University of Rochester Department of Public Health Sciences and a co-author of the study. “It is also becoming increasingly clear that the benefits of fish consumption may outweigh, or even mask, any potentially adverse effects of mercury.”

The new study comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and international agencies are in the process of revisiting fish consumption advisories to better reflect the health benefits of nutrients found in fish. The FDA’s current guidance — which recommends that pregnant women limit their consumption of certain fish to twice a week — was established because of the known risk of high level mercury exposure on childhood development.

Mercury is found in the environment as a result of both natural and human (e.g. coal plant emissions) activity. Much of it ends up being deposited in the world’s oceans and, as a result, fish harbor the chemical in very small amounts.

 

 

Memory Boosting Foods

Memory boosting foods

Memory boosting foods

MOST of us can be a little forgetful sometimes, but what if you really seem to be forgetting things more than usual?

Well, there are some foods that help boost memory and are also rich in antioxidants which, let’s face it, we could all do with these days. Now where was I? Oh yes, memory boosting foods

Well, according to several recent studies reported in Science Daily, eating blueberries and strawberries could help prevent memory loss in old age. Berries are rich in antioxidants, which protect cells from free-radical damage. But new research has found they can have a direct effect on how neurons in the brain send signals. But berries aren’t the only memory boosting foods.

Avocados

These delicious fruits (yes, they are classed as a fruit) are a great source of ‘healthy’ fat and a good blood circulation booster. This is important when it comes to brain function, as this enhances blood flow to the brain, helping with healthy brain function.

Oily fish

The essential omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish such as sardines, herring, trout and mackerel, as well as walnut oil and flaxseeds, or linseeds, are high in Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a fatty acid which is vital to maintaining a healthy nervous system.  Low DHA levels have been linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. Fish also contains iodine, which is known to improve mental clarity.

Whole grains

Whole grains improve circulation and help regulate glucose levels in the blood. The more stable your glucose levels, the easier it is to concentrate, which is one of the reasons why it’s important to eat breakfast in the morning. Apart from revving up your metabolism it keeps your sugar levels balanced and protects against diabetes and heart disease.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are a great source of the antioxidant vitamin, E, a lack of which has been linked with cognitive decline as you age. A good intake of vitamin E will help prevent memory loss. Nuts are a great source along with leafy green vegetables, seeds, eggs, brown rice and whole grains.

Blueberries

Blueberries and strawberries contain antioxidants, which are thought to protect brain neurons from damage, build communication receptors between each brain cell, and flush out waste. They also help protect against age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Blackberries are also a great brain booster, as they contain good levels of vitamin C that has long been known to help increase mental agility.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells that occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s.

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Thank you for reading!

Fiona

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