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As Lewis Carroll, author of "Alice in Wonderland," once said, "No good fish goes anywhere without a porpoise." And, it turns out, no wise person would porpoisely avoid a fish. According to a new study published in the journal Neurology, which tracked more than 1,300 women with an average age of 70, eating baked or broiled, omega-3-rich fish once or twice a week helps protect your brain from shrinkage caused by exposure to air pollution. (Yup, air pollution does that too!)

Research had already established that omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon and sea trout for example, fight inflammation, protect the aging brain and reduce damage from neurotoxins like lead and mercury. But this study expands what we know about the remarkable powers of omega-3 fatty acids.

The study showed that women exposed to significant air pollution who had the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had a greater volume of the brain's white matter (it contains nerve fibers and myelin sheaths) and a larger hippocampus (the center of emotion, memory and the autonomic nervous system) than women with lower blood levels. The researchers also found that as exposure to air pollution increased incrementally, people with lower blood levels of omega-3s had white matter volume that was 11.52 centimeters cubed smaller, but folks with high levels of the lipid only lost 0.12 cm.

So, here's one more reason to enjoy fish regularly — just make sure it's not fried. Frying adds unnecessary calories and loads on unhealthy fat from the fry oil.

 

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit sharecare.com.

 

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

King Features Syndicate

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