Is eating fish good for the brain? It seems so, but we are not talking about the beneficial role of phosphorus, but of other substances contained in this food, the omega 3 fatty acids. According to a recent scientific research published in the journal Neurology, the official journal of the American Academy of Neurology, by a team from Columbia University, New York, the fish, adding omega 3, would show a protective action on the brain by counteracting the damage caused by pollution.
The researchers recruited 1315 healthy women between 65 and 80 years old. Study participants were asked to indicate their lifestyle, their diet and how many times a week they ate fish, in the form of grilled, baked fish, fish salad and non-fried seafood. In fact, frying has been shown to alter omega 3 in fish. To all women was then taken a blood sample in order to evaluate the presence of omega 3 and, based on where they had lived for the past three years, the scientists managed to determine the levels of air pollution, and in particular of particulates, to which the women had been subjected. Finally, women were subjected to nuclear magnetic resonance to evaluate the white matter, which is composed of bundles of nerve fibers that send signals through the brain, and the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with memory. Well, what resulted from this analysis, is that the study participants who consumed more than two portions of fish per week were taking enough omega 3 to counteract the damage caused by pollution on the brain. In fact, in those who consumed more fish the omega 3 values ??in the blood were higher, not only, in these people it turned out that the white substance had a bigger volume, 410 cubic centimeters compared to 403 cubic centimeters, than those who consumed little or no fish portion per week.
Moreover, the hippocampus also had a bigger volume in those who had higher levels of omega 3. Researchers also managed to evaluate how omega 3 are able to counteract the damage caused by pollution. In fact, it was observed that high levels of pollution could lead to a reduction of even 11 cubic centimeters in the white matter in those who had, at the same time, also low levels of omega 3. While these same levels of pollution could cause a reduction of only 0.12 cubic centimeters of white matter in those who instead had higher omega 3 levels.