FISH FOR HEALTH

Posted on August 9, 2012. Filed under: heart disease, nutrition | Tags: , , , , , |

Fish is one of our healthiest choices for protein. Consumption of fish or fish oil has major health protective effects including these: decreased risk for cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke); preservation of cognitive thinking; and, probably, reduced risk for diabetes. Fish or fish oil intake also lowers blood triglyceride levels. Fish oils are omega-3 fatty acids that include DHA (decosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Flax seeds provide ALA but the health benefits of taking flax seeds alone are not well established. Early observations suggested that fish oil intake might increase risk for diabetes but later, more persuasive studies, indicates that fish oil intake decreases risk for diabetes. Having pre-diabetes myself for 14 years has led me to take fish oil capsules twice daily. Ideally, everyone should eat two servings of fish weekly. I recommend that all adults consume one capsule daily and seniors should consume one capsule twice daily.  I use two capsules of high-potency Fisol (VitaminShoppe.com) daily. We also enjoy salmon broiled on a cedar board. Delicious, enjoy. Nutdoc

 

1.   Balk EM, Lichtenstein AH, Chung M, Kupelnick B, Chew P, Lau J. Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on serum markers of cardiovascular disease risk: A systematic review. Atherosclerosis 2006;189:19-30.

2.   Wang C, Harris WS, Chung M et al. n-3 Fatty acids from fish or fish-oil supplements, but not alpha-linolenic acid, benefit cardiovascular disease outcomes in primary- and secondary-prevention studies: a systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;84:5-17.

3.   Djousse L, Gaziano JM, Buring JE, Lee IM. Dietary omega-3 fatty acids and fish consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr 2011;93:143-50.

4.   Nurk E, Drevon CA, Refsum H et al. Cognitive performance among the elderly and dietary fish intake: the Hordaland Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;86:1470-8.

 

 

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Trouble remembering names?

Posted on October 1, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

How to preserve and enhance cognition and brain function
Sometimes around 60 or older most people notice they don’t remember names like they used to. Often they can remember many details about an acquaintance they are seeing after a gap in time but the name doesn’t come right away. At 74, this is a major frustration for me.
Stimulated by my poor name memory, I have done some research in this area. The sad fact is that our mental or cognitive ability peaks at about age 25 and then declines about 1% per year thereafter. Thankfully our experience and wisdom compensates and most appear to gain intelligence through much of adult life. IQ testing does not capture all of our cognitive abilities but if it did, one could say that the average college graduate’s IQ declines about 40 points by age 70. Cognition is the mental process of acquiring knowledge, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.
Physical activity is the best way of preserving our brain function. Countless studies indicate that those people who are physically active maintain cognitive ability better than couch potatoes. Probably it requires walking about 2 miles daily or spending about 40 minutes doing physical activity daily to preserve cognition. Several bouts of aerobic activity, where your heart rate gets up to about 120-130 beats per minute, weekly probably are required. Other things that help preserve cognition are eating a healthy diet that includes generous amounts of fruit (4 servings/day), vegetables (4 servings/day), and whole grains (3 servings/day). Eating fish or taking 2 fish oil daily capsules also help. Being socially active and doing mental gymnastics such as crossword puzzles also are protective from cognitive loss.
What appears to accelerate loss of brain function? Cigarette smoking, watching more than 2 hours of television daily, high animal fat intake from red meat, processed meat, and high fat dairy products and obesity are associated with more rapid decline in brain function.
Your health is in your hands. At any age after 25 you can begin the process of staying mentally alert and preserving your short term memory by exercising regularly, eating healthily, not smoking, and remaining socially active. These activities stimulate growth of new brain cells, enhance the connections between cells in the brain, and preserve the vital brain hormones, messengers and connections.
Please give me your comments and suggestions.
Jim Anderson

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