Today there are no cures or ways to slow down many cognitive disorders, such as dementia, and very few treatments for their symptoms. It is estimated that 10 million Canadians of all ages will be affected by a disease, disorder or injury of the brain or nervous system at some point in their life. Recent research has shown a link between the nutrients we consume and brain health, including:
- B vitamins – B6, B9 and B12 have shown protective roles in cognition.
- Antioxidants – Limit the production of toxins which can cause cell damage and neurodegeneration. Antioxidants include several different nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin E and flavonoids.
- Omega-3s – Commonly known as omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), lower blood pressure levels and improve serum lipid profiles, detected through a common blood test. Both of these factors have implications in the risk of dementia.
Omega-3 PUFAs, (specifically EPA and DHA) are from marine sources like salmon, sardines, fresh tuna, mackerel, and herring. There is strong evidence to support their benefits on improved brain health, as well as heart health. Most Canadians should consume 2-3 servings of fish per week or 250-300 mg of fish oil supplement per day.