Fish Consumption May Protect Against Vascular Brain Damage
Vascular brain disease involves many conditions that impact the brain’s blood circulation and blood vessels, for instance, vascular malformation and stroke. This type of disease is the second most common cause of death worldwide. It can cause physical disability, as well as the progression of intellectual disability and dementia. Increasing physical activity, dietary changes, and giving up smoking can lower cerebrovascular disease risk. Regular fish consumption or fish oil supplements intake is also associated with a reduced risk of stroke since fish are a great omega-3 source.
A new cross-sectional study examined the connection between regular fish intake and vascular brain damage in healthy older adults prior to cerebrovascular disease onset. This study suggests that consuming fish at least twice per week can lower vascular brain damage, particularly in people under 75 years. The research team assessed the degree of subclinical cerebrovascular damage with the help of brain MRI scans. They revealed that the individuals who ate fish at least twice a week had reduced combined levels of cerebrovascular disease markers than those who ate fish less frequently.
The study discovered that eating fish twice a week had a similar effect on cerebrovascular disease marker levels as high blood pressure but in the opposite direction. This study is critical because it demonstrated that fish consumption may provide protection against vascular brain disease and that it’s possible to uncover benefits even before noticeable symptoms occur.
Nevertheless, this study has several limitations. For instance, this is a cross-sectional observational study, which means it can’t establish causality between fish consumption and improved brain health. Scientists need to conduct more research to understand how fish intake may preserve brain vascular health because the diet is a factor people can change to reduce the risk of decline in mental function later in life.