NUTRITION&FOOD Published February3, 2016 By Annie Dee

Fish Consumption Lowers Dementia Risk, Older Adults No Need to Worry about Mercury

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A patient with dementia pets a cat in a nursing home. The number of people with dementia worldwide is rising.
(Photo : Sean Gallup, Getty Images )

Older adults at risk of dementia may benefit from eating fish. A new report found that fish has brain-protecting benefits. 

According to Reuters Health, older adults should not worry about having higher brain levels of mercury because of fish. Eating fish can help protect them against dementia, a benefit that certainly outweighs any potential harms from mercury. 

The main findings showed that if older adults have a gene variant making them at risk of getting Alzheimer's disease, eating fish is one of the more effective ways of lowering their risk. The lead researcher, Martha Clare Morris of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said that the findings of the study can convince older adults that eating fish is good for them, slowing their cognitive decline and preventing them from getting Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Even though this is not the first time that seafood has been praised for its health benefits, the findings of the new research uniquely showed that older people who are worried about fish because of mercury has nothing to be worried about. The researchers said that even though older adults who consumed fish a lot were found to have higher brain levels of mercury, they also did not suffer any negative effects from it. "There is mercury toxicity that does affect the brain, but we do not have data on very high levels of seafood consumption," Morris said. The study is currently published in JAMA.

In a related news, there is a new research debunking previous reports that claimed pills for anxiety and sleep deprivation can lead to increased dementia risk, Science 2.0 reported. The study, which is already published by The BMJ today, showed that taking benzodiazepines for anxiety and insomnia, is not significantly related to having dementia in the future. 

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