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Fish oil is touted as a magical potion that boosts fertility, heart health, and weight loss and promotes a clear complexion, while lessening the effects of depression, ulcers, diabetes and many more conditions. But there’s another benefit to these glossy little capsules: They mayprevent Alzheimer’s disease.
A new study of 819 people published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia found that taking fish oil supplements on a daily basis is associated with a significant decrease in cognitive decline (as measured by the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale and the Mini Mental State Exam) and brain atrophy — important findings in light of statistics that show that one person per minute is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
“We found that fish oil use was associated with better performance on standard tests of memory and thinking abilities over time, compared to those who didn’t take supplements,” lead study author Lori Daiello, a research scientist at the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center at Rhode Island Hospital, tells Yahoo Health. “They also experienced less brain shrinkage in areas of the brain important for healthy cognitive aging — the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, the portion of the brain responsible for forming and retaining memories.”