Eating Fish may Prevent Parkinson’s Disease
Benefits of Eating Fish
More and more studies are showing the benefit of eating fish to reduce getting strokes and heart attacks and for brain health. Now a new study by researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology shows eating fish can also help prevent Parkinson’s disease which is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and the most common movement disorder.
Fish also Protective Against Dementia
It had already been shown that following a Mediterranean kind of diet which includes a lot of fish could protect against dementia. A protein in fish called parvalbumin (PV) stops amyloids formation with α-synuclein (AS), the protein that leads to Parkinson’s disease. Parvalbumin is found in largest amounts in herring, carp, cod and red colored fish like red snapper and salmon. The properties that give fish their health benefits comes about by a cross-reaction of human amyloidogenic proteins with β-parvalbumin.
Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and type 2 Diabetes Caused by Pathological Amyloid Proteins
The researchers also discovered that the amyloid fibrils are toxic, can be moved from cell to cell and can cross the brain barrier, which can allow them to cause Parkinson’s disease. Other diseases caused by pathological types of amyloid proteins are Alzheimer’s disease caused by amyloid-β and amylin in type 2 diabetes.
Interestingly, it is the parvalbumin in fish that causes fish allergies and in fact, research has recently speculated that allergenic proteins assume amyloid states to protect themselves from being destroyed in the digestive tract and this is how they cause food allergies.
Vitamin B3 Niacin Reversed Memory Loss in Mice
In a previous blog article February 28, 2018, we reported about the health benefits of Vitamin B3 niacin that is found in abundance in fish like salmon and tuna. Niacin actually restored memory loss in mice that had been generated to have Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Vitamin B3 did this by neutralizing neuro-inflammation that led to DNA damage in the brain cells of the AD-like mice.
Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle
Both Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are presently incurable and an enormous amount of effort and money is being invested in research to come up with a cure or a way to prevent these terribly destructive diseases. So far all the remedies found to be able to prevent or slow down the pace of these neurodegenerative diseases are lifestyle remedies like following a Mediterranean diet and lifestyle which means eating a lot of fish instead of red meat, eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and using only extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) as the only fat and oil in the diet. Also, to cut down on drinking alcoholic beverages or avoiding them all together, to stop smoking and last, but not least to get a lot of physical exercise. We reported that extra virgin olive oil and the Mediterranean diet could prevent cognitive decline in seniors in our March 16, 2018 blog. On April 27, 2018 we reported that there was an association of fewer hip fractures in seniors who followed a Mediterranean diet.
So many studies have shown the health benefits of eating fish by seniors, especially in preventing neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Fish should be on everyone’s table except for people who are allergic to it. There are also all kinds of ways of preparing fish for those who do not like the classic fish taste.
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