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New York - Swedish Study Finds Fish Diet Boosts Intelligence Scores

Published on: March 23, 2009 09:31 AM
By: DPA
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New York - A regular intake of fish appears to boost intelligence scores in teenagers, according to a new Swedish study. The research suggested that 15-year-old males, who ate fish at least once a week, had “higher cognitive skills at the age of 18 than those who ate it less frequently.”

The fish diet appeared to “increase combined, verbal and visuospatial intelligence scores by an average of 6 per cent.”

Eating fish more than once a week almost doubled the score, according to the study published in the March issue of Acta Paediatrica said.

The researchers used responses from 3,972 males in the survey with cognitive scores registered in their Swedish military conscription records three years later.

“We found a clear link between frequent fish consumption and higher scores when the teenagers ate fish at least once a week,” said Professor Kjell Toren of the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, western Sweden.

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Toren said the findings were “significant” since the research was conducted between 15 and 18 years of age “when educational achievements can help to shape the rest of a young man’s life.”

The researchers said they did not know what mechanism was linked to fish consumption and improved cognitive performance.

One theory was the benefits were linked to long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish.

The leading author of the study, Dr Maria Aberg from the Centre for Brain Repair and Rehabilitation at the University of Gothenburg, said the team had considered other factors including ethnicity, where the teenagers lived, what level of education their parents had achieved, how often the teenagers exercised, their well-being and weight.

“Having looked very carefully at the wide range of variables explored by this study it was very clear that there was a significant association between regular fish consumption at 15 and improved cognitive performance at 18,” Aberg said.

The researchers are now set to investigate whether the results were affected by the kind of fish eaten.



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Read Comments (24)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 23, 2009 at 09:05 AM Anonymous Says:

Fish is very health so the smart people eat fish, it's the opposite...

2

 Mar 23, 2009 at 09:14 AM Anonymous Says:

gefilte fish doesn't count.

3

 Mar 23, 2009 at 09:27 AM Avraham Says:

Now I know part of the reason why I'm so damn smart.

4

 Mar 23, 2009 at 09:19 AM Anonymous Says:

Any mention of eating fish should also mention that some fish is very high in mercury. This is especially true for tuna, which seems to be one of the most popular fish eaten in the US. The website gotmercury.org lists the mercury content for different fish. Tuna should be avoided, So should bass, bluefish, halibut, Spanish Mackerel, orange roughy, scorpionfish, snapper, tilefish, and weakfish.

5

 Mar 23, 2009 at 10:15 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Any mention of eating fish should also mention that some fish is very high in mercury. This is especially true for tuna, which seems to be one of the most popular fish eaten in the US. The website gotmercury.org lists the mercury content for different fish. Tuna should be avoided, So should bass, bluefish, halibut, Spanish Mackerel, orange roughy, scorpionfish, snapper, tilefish, and weakfish.

A good rule of thumb is the lower on the food chain, the lower the mercury level.

And by the way, guess what's low in mercury and high in healthy fish oils? HERRING! I think we have unlocked the secret to the general cleverness of Yidden, particularly the kiddush-partaking variety. :-)

6

 Mar 23, 2009 at 10:55 AM Anonymous Says:

I also wonder if they fish consumed by the focus group was wild or farmed and if that makes a difference. Most of the fish we are consuming in the US live on corn which, well, is hard to find in the ocean.

7

 Mar 23, 2009 at 11:40 AM robroy560 Says:

There's a free guide out there about what kinds of fish to eat, specifically to avoid the mercury and a couple of other things. Wild caught is still the best. Farm raised fish can be very dirty, plus the feed also includes gound up fish meal from fish with potentially a high mercury content.

So when I buy canned salmon, I look for wild caught. The few times I eat lox/smoked salmon, I look for the wild too. It costs more, but I don't eat it enough to kill my budget.
I limit my sardine eating too, but I think you can find brands that are wild caught.

My maternal grandmother, A"H, lived until almost 93. She swore by eating fish 1-2 per week. She used to say it's brain food.

8

 Mar 23, 2009 at 11:37 AM Anonymous Says:

Herring is much lower in mercury than tuna, but it still has around triple the mercury content of salmon or sardines. One should eat herring in moderation. If you use the mercury calculator on the gotmercury.org website, you will see that 2 pounds a week of herring reaches the epa limit for mercury exposure for a 120 pound woman(or 3 pounds for a 180 pound man. Ideally one should take in as little mercury as possible, especially if they still have mercury fillings in their teeth).
Just one 6 ounce can of albacore tuna a week has 100% of the epa limit for a 180 pound person(and one a half times the limit for a 120 pound person!).

I had many mercury fillings, and had them all replaced for health reasons. Mercury fillings leak mercury, which is readily absorbed by the body, and can cause mercury toxicity if one has many mercury fillings for many years(Chewing sugarless gum is not safe for those with mercury fillings, as it can more than double the amount of mercury released from mercury fillings if one chews it a few hours a day).
Many who are incorrectly diagnosed as having chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity, unexplained allergies, thyroid problems , and a number of other illnesses that don't respong to conventional treatment may have mercury poisoning if they have had many mercury fillings for many years, or have eaten plenty of high mercury fish. The exposure to mercury is cumulative. While the body does get rid of some ingested mercury, some of it tend to keep accumulating in the brain, nervous system, and vital organs. The body has the most difficulty in getting rid of mercury in the brain and nervous system.

The mercury accumulates in the brain and vital organs, and blocks binding sites for necessary minerals(mercury toxicity may also be involved in many cases of unexplained weight gain and hypothyroidism). There is chelation for removing mercury from the body, but this should only be done at least several months after all mercury dental fillings have been replaced(do a Google search for Andrew Cutler Phd. to learn about the very safe chelation protocol he devised to heal himself, and which many others are using).

Jeremy Piven recently became ill from mercury poisoning due to eating too much sushi.

9

 Mar 23, 2009 at 12:15 PM yatzmech Says:

Now I know why at Rebbishe Tishen they give such small pieces of fish.

10

 Mar 23, 2009 at 07:49 PM Gefilte Fish Says:

How about that the teens who ate fish once a week were probably from better families who eat cooked dinners, went to better schools, came from more normal families etc. and therefore got better scores?

11

 Mar 24, 2009 at 12:46 AM me Says:

That's probably why dolphins are so smart. They eat a lot of fish.

12

 Mar 24, 2009 at 11:46 AM Anonymous Says:

The Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) has a list of fish that are better to eat, both from a mercury/PCB standpoint and from a conservation standpoint. It's available on the web.

13

 Mar 24, 2009 at 12:10 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

The Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) has a list of fish that are better to eat, both from a mercury/PCB standpoint and from a conservation standpoint. It's available on the web.

NRDC is a crank organisation, and if they tell you that the sun is shining you'd do best to look out the window before believing them.

14

 Mar 24, 2009 at 12:06 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Any mention of eating fish should also mention that some fish is very high in mercury. This is especially true for tuna, which seems to be one of the most popular fish eaten in the US. The website gotmercury.org lists the mercury content for different fish. Tuna should be avoided, So should bass, bluefish, halibut, Spanish Mackerel, orange roughy, scorpionfish, snapper, tilefish, and weakfish.

There is no evidence that ingested mercury, at the levels that one could get even from an all-large-fish diet, is at all harmful. There is only one case in recorded history of people being injured by eating mercury-laden fish, and that was at a freakishly high dosage, which we can never expect to encounter. Mercury is very difficult to absorb through the skin or the stomach lining; it just goes right through the system and out with the waste. The only real danger from mercury is when it's vapourised and inhaled.

15

 Mar 24, 2009 at 12:08 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

Herring is much lower in mercury than tuna, but it still has around triple the mercury content of salmon or sardines. One should eat herring in moderation. If you use the mercury calculator on the gotmercury.org website, you will see that 2 pounds a week of herring reaches the epa limit for mercury exposure for a 120 pound woman(or 3 pounds for a 180 pound man. Ideally one should take in as little mercury as possible, especially if they still have mercury fillings in their teeth).
Just one 6 ounce can of albacore tuna a week has 100% of the epa limit for a 180 pound person(and one a half times the limit for a 120 pound person!).

I had many mercury fillings, and had them all replaced for health reasons. Mercury fillings leak mercury, which is readily absorbed by the body, and can cause mercury toxicity if one has many mercury fillings for many years(Chewing sugarless gum is not safe for those with mercury fillings, as it can more than double the amount of mercury released from mercury fillings if one chews it a few hours a day).
Many who are incorrectly diagnosed as having chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity, unexplained allergies, thyroid problems , and a number of other illnesses that don't respong to conventional treatment may have mercury poisoning if they have had many mercury fillings for many years, or have eaten plenty of high mercury fish. The exposure to mercury is cumulative. While the body does get rid of some ingested mercury, some of it tend to keep accumulating in the brain, nervous system, and vital organs. The body has the most difficulty in getting rid of mercury in the brain and nervous system.

The mercury accumulates in the brain and vital organs, and blocks binding sites for necessary minerals(mercury toxicity may also be involved in many cases of unexplained weight gain and hypothyroidism). There is chelation for removing mercury from the body, but this should only be done at least several months after all mercury dental fillings have been replaced(do a Google search for Andrew Cutler Phd. to learn about the very safe chelation protocol he devised to heal himself, and which many others are using).

Jeremy Piven recently became ill from mercury poisoning due to eating too much sushi.

This is all new age nonsense. There is not a shred of evidence for any of it.

16

 Mar 24, 2009 at 09:30 PM Anonymous Says:

"This is all new age nonsense. There is not a shred of evidence for any of it."

New age nonsense? Are you a dentist? Is saying that the earth is round also new age nonsense? Is it so hard to comprehend that mercury is a dangerous poison even in tiny amounts? Is it so hard for you to understand that some mercury is escaping from mercury fillings? Is it so hard to understand that even very small amounts of mercury can negatively impact health?

There have been various tests in which radioactive mercury was used to make mercury amalgam fillings which were placed in the teeth of animals. After several months, the animals were slaughtered and radioactive mercury was found in the brain and organs of the animals. There is no debate that mercury is released from mercury fillings. It is a proven fact! As for what amount of mercury causes illness, that will vary from person to person based on the load of other toxic metals, and how much of the mercury they can excrete.

The methylmercury in fish is very well absorbed. So is mercury vapor which is released from mercury dental filings.

Take a look at mercurypoisoned.com

17

 Mar 25, 2009 at 12:28 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

"This is all new age nonsense. There is not a shred of evidence for any of it."

New age nonsense? Are you a dentist? Is saying that the earth is round also new age nonsense? Is it so hard to comprehend that mercury is a dangerous poison even in tiny amounts? Is it so hard for you to understand that some mercury is escaping from mercury fillings? Is it so hard to understand that even very small amounts of mercury can negatively impact health?

There have been various tests in which radioactive mercury was used to make mercury amalgam fillings which were placed in the teeth of animals. After several months, the animals were slaughtered and radioactive mercury was found in the brain and organs of the animals. There is no debate that mercury is released from mercury fillings. It is a proven fact! As for what amount of mercury causes illness, that will vary from person to person based on the load of other toxic metals, and how much of the mercury they can excrete.

The methylmercury in fish is very well absorbed. So is mercury vapor which is released from mercury dental filings.

Take a look at mercurypoisoned.com

Every word of that is nonsense. I have no interest in your crank web site, especially if it's set up to sell your bogus "chelation therapy" or some other such quackery.

18

 Mar 25, 2009 at 06:10 PM Anonymous Says:

Chelation is not quackery. DMSA is FDA approved for removing lead from the body. It is also effective for removing mercury and a number of other heavy metals. Alpha lipoic acid, which is commonly used in large doses as an antioxidant, is effective for removing mercury from the body if taken in a low dosage every 3 hours using the Cutler protocol. ALA is very inexpensive, often costing less than 10 cents per 50 mg dose. It is available in vitamin stores. It is available with Chuf K supervision in some products by Solgar and Bluebonnet, but at a somewhat higher price.

19

 Mar 25, 2009 at 06:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Don't confuse chelation using intravenous EDTA for artery disease which is controversial and is potentially dangerous if done improperly, with oral chelation using alpha lipoic acid or DMSA for heavy metal poisoning which are quite safe using the Cutler protocol. EDTA chelates not just toxic metals, but also necessary minerals. DMSA and alpha lipoic acid target only certain toxic heavy metals.

20

 Mar 26, 2009 at 02:38 AM Milhouse Says:

How many times must you hear this? Elemental mercury, such as that in fish, is NOT EASILY ABSORBED by the skin or stomach lining. There is ONLY ONE INCIDENT in all of recorded history of anyone being harmed by ingested mercury, and the women there all had freakishly high doses. There is no reason to believe that low doses of mercury in fish are at all harmful. And there's certainly no reason to submit to such "therapies".

21

 Mar 26, 2009 at 04:39 PM Anonymous Says:

"Fish absorb methyl mercury from water as it passes over their gills and as they feed on aquatic organisms. Larger predator fish are exposed to higher levels of methyl mercury from their prey. "

fda.gov/fdac/reprints/mercury.html

22

 Mar 26, 2009 at 04:25 PM Anonymous Says:

The mercury in fish is metylmercury. From the epa website

"Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and can also be released into the air through industrial pollution. Mercury falls from the air and can accumulate in streams and oceans and is turned into methylmercury in the water. It is this type of mercury that can be harmful to your unborn baby and young child. Fish absorb the methylmercury as they feed in these waters and so it builds up in them. It builds up more in some types of fish and shellfish than others, depending on what the fish eat, which is why the levels vary. "

epa.gov/waterscience/fish/advice/

As for mercury fillings-

"...if they have as few as 4 amalgam fillings present in their mouth, the average person's saliva is so high in mercury they cannot legally spit into the toilet. Their saliva exceeds the EPA maximum legal municipal discharge standard for mercury..--David Kennedy D.D.S."

""The evidence tells me very succinctly that there is a chronic low-dose exposure to a toxic heavy metal that 80-85 per cent of the industrialised world have implanted in their teeth, and it's a situation of timed-release poisoning."--Dr Murray Vimy, research scientist and former World Health Organization consultant""

tuberose.com/Mercury.html
toxicteeth.org

23

 Mar 27, 2009 at 04:51 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #22  
Anonymous Says:

The mercury in fish is metylmercury. From the epa website

"Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and can also be released into the air through industrial pollution. Mercury falls from the air and can accumulate in streams and oceans and is turned into methylmercury in the water. It is this type of mercury that can be harmful to your unborn baby and young child. Fish absorb the methylmercury as they feed in these waters and so it builds up in them. It builds up more in some types of fish and shellfish than others, depending on what the fish eat, which is why the levels vary. "

epa.gov/waterscience/fish/advice/

As for mercury fillings-

"...if they have as few as 4 amalgam fillings present in their mouth, the average person's saliva is so high in mercury they cannot legally spit into the toilet. Their saliva exceeds the EPA maximum legal municipal discharge standard for mercury..--David Kennedy D.D.S."

""The evidence tells me very succinctly that there is a chronic low-dose exposure to a toxic heavy metal that 80-85 per cent of the industrialised world have implanted in their teeth, and it's a situation of timed-release poisoning."--Dr Murray Vimy, research scientist and former World Health Organization consultant""

tuberose.com/Mercury.html
toxicteeth.org

And that EPA standard is ridiculously low, and completely unjustified by any scientific findings.

Low dose = no harm. The dose makes the poison.

24

 Mar 27, 2009 at 04:49 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

"Fish absorb methyl mercury from water as it passes over their gills and as they feed on aquatic organisms. Larger predator fish are exposed to higher levels of methyl mercury from their prey. "

fda.gov/fdac/reprints/mercury.html

So what? When you eat the fish, the mercury is not absorbed by your stomach lining, and is excreted.

25

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