Scientists have been recommending oily fish because it could help us reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. But they weren’t confident about this.

Now, new research revealed that eating oily fish like mackerel or salmon can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by nearly 50%.

Researchers from the Fatty Acid Research Institute (FARI) in the US believe that the study results could lead to a cheap, low-risk way to save millions of people in treatment.

One of the most significant genetic risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s disease is a gene called APOE4, which is carried by almost half of all Alzheimer’s patients.

In the new study, scientists discovered that people with high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in their blood are 49% less likely to get Alzheimer’s in the future than those with low Omega-3 DHA levels in their blood. This was particularly true for the patients carrying the APOE4 gene which doubles the chances of getting the enervating brain condition.


new research revealed that eating oily fish like mackerel or salmon can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by nearly 50%.
Add oily fish to your diet

The findings show us the importance of consuming foods such as tuna, salmon, and walnuts which are high sources of omega-3 DHA.

Cold-water wild varieties of fish like mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines, and herring contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

The research that took place within the Framingham Offspring Cohort included 1,490 participants aged 65 or over who did not have Alzheimer’s.


“Our study is in line with that of Tan et al., who reported cross-sectional associations with RBC DHA on cognitive performance and brain volume measurements (with higher DHA being associated with beneficial outcomes) in the same cohort as studied here,” explains William S. Harris, Ph.D., President of FARI, and senior author of the study in a statement.


Scientists studied the association of red blood cell marine omega-3 DHA with Alzheimer’s Disease while also testing for interaction with ApoE4 gene carriership.

There are three types of Omega-3, DHA and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) both found particularly in oily fish, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) found in plants which are not as good for you.

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If those with the lowest levels were to reach those with the highest, they would gain an extra 4.7 years free of Alzheimer’s.

According to the study author Dr. Aleix Sala-Vila, “The risk for Alzheimer’s disease in the highest DHA fifth was 49% lower compared with the lowest fifth.”

“Delaying Alzheimer’s disease by five years leads to 2.7 additional years of life, and 4.8 additional Alzheimer-free years for an individual who would have acquired Alzheimer’s,” Aleix added.

The findings published in the journal Nutrients support similar findings from the research that took place in the original Framingham Heart Study 15 years ago.

President of FARI, and senior author Dr. William Harris, said: “Most interestingly, 15 years ago similar findings were reported in the parents of the individuals who were the focus of this present investigation with a 47 percent in the risk of developing all-cause dementia.

“Similar findings a generation apart in a similar genetic pool provide considerable confirmation of this DHA-dementia relationship.”


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