Eating fish has always been associated with good health but a recent study has established that DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that is found in fish, can sharpen our memory!
Researchers with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta discovered a link between eating fish and good memory and have published their results in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.
AdvertisementPrincipal researcher Yves Sauve and his colleagues showed in a study that there was a 30 % increase in DHA levels in the hipocampus of the brain of lab models fed on a high-DHA diet in comparison to animal models on a regular, healthy diet. The hippocampus is that part of the brain which controls memory.
"We wanted to find out how fish intake improves memory," says Sauve, a medical researcher who works in the department of physiology, the department of ophthalmology and the Centre for Neuroscience at the university of Alberta.
"What we discovered is that memory cells in the hippocampus could communicate better with each other and better relay messages when DHA levels in that region of the brain were higher. This could explain why memory improves on a high-DHA diet."
The study points out that when our diet is supplemented with DHA, lots more of omega-3 fatty acid gets stored in the brain. Other labs have established this finding as well.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid, is a structural component of our brain, which is associated with memory and mental health. Therefore, supplementing your diet with DHA is an absolute necessity, especially as you grow older. Vegetarians and vegans must make sure that they get their share of DHA through walnuts, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds or through supplements.
Don't forget to load your plate with generous portions of cold-water fish and walnuts to get your share of essential fatty acids!
Steve Connor, Gustavo Tenorio, Michael Tom Clandinin, Yves Sauv. DHA supplementation enhances high-frequency, stimulation-induced synaptic transmission in mouse hippocampus. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 20 June 2012 DOI: 10.1139/h2012-062