Swedish researchers have found a clear link between fish consumption and higher cognitive scores among teenage males. According to a new study published in Acta Paediatrica, a monthly international, peer-reviewed pediatric research journal, 15 year old males who ate fish at least once a week had higher cognitive skills at age 18 than those who ate it less frequently.
"There are a number of studies linking Omega-3 EPA/DHA found in oily fish to thinking, reasoning, and remembering abilities - our cognitive functions - in infants and the elderly," said Ocean Nutrition Canada's Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Jon Getzinger. "We know that Omega-3 EPA/DHA is a critical nutrient for these age groups, but studies like this demonstrate that Omega-3 EPA/DHA from fish oil is important for our bodies and minds not just when we're young or older, but throughout our lives. In addition to validating the essential need our bodies have for Omega-3 EPA/DHA, such studies highlight its deficiency in our diets, a deficiency easily addressed by eating fatty fish, by taking Omega-3 EPA/DHA dietary supplements, and by consuming Omega 3 EPA/DHA fortified foods. And, given how difficult it can often be to get younger children and teens to eat fatty fish - many of them just don't like the taste - Omega-3 EPA/DHA enhanced foods are an easy way to incorporate this nutrient into their diets."
The study, called Fish intake of Swedish male adolescents is a predictor of cognitive performance, examined fish consumption in healthy teenage Swedish boys at age 15 to see if was associated in any way with intelligence at age 18.
In conducting the study, researchers compared the responses of the 3972 males who took part in the study at age 15 with their cognitive scores recorded three years later when they entered compulsory military service, finding a definite link between frequent fish consumption and cognitive function. Researchers found that 58 percent of study respondents ate fish at least once a week, while 20 percent ate fish more than once a week. When the young men ate fish more than once a week, their combined intelligence scores were, on average, almost 11 percent higher than those who ate fish less than once a week. Boys who consumed fish once a week scored almost seven percent higher on their combined intelligence scores. Verbal scores were about nine percent higher than those who ate fish less than once a week and those who ate fish once a week scored about four percent higher. This same pattern was also seen in visuospatial scores, with those who ate fish more than once a week scoring about 11 percent higher than those who consumed it less than once a week.
Researchers believe this is the first large scale study to explore the benefits of fish consumption on adolescents. The findings are considered significant due to the age group of the young men who took part in it - educational achievements during these crucial developmental years often shape the rest of a teenager's life.
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid (EFA), consisting of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Oily fish (such as sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and salmon) are the only known natural sources of Omega-3 EPA/DHA. ALA is found in plants, such as flax and chia. It is important to note that only EPA and DHA contribute to the many health benefits associated with Omega-3. While the body can convert ALA into EPA/DHA, it does so very inefficiently (less than one percent), making it impossible to derive Omega-3-related health benefits from plant sourced ALA. Furthermore, although Omega-3 EPA/DHA is vital to overall good health, the human body is not able to produce it on its own, so supplementation is required, either by eating oily fish or foods fortified with Omega-3 EPA/DHA, or by taking fish oil supplements. Learn more about the health benefits of Omega-3 EPA/DHA at www.meg-3.com.
About Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited (ONC):
Ocean Nutrition Canada (ONC) is a global leading supplier of Omega-3 EPA and DHA ingredients from fish oil…essential nutrients that have been scientifically linked to supporting heart health, brain health, and general wellness. ONC markets its MEG-3® ingredients into the Dietary Supplement and Healthy Food markets. To date MEG-3® ingredients have been included in over 40 billion servings of food and supplement products world wide. For more information on Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited visit www.ocean-nutrition.com, and for more information on the health benefits of Omega-3 EPA/DHA please visit www.meg-3.com.