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Fish and sunshine boost brain

Thursday May 21st, 2009

Fish and sunshine may hold the key to a healthy brain late in life - for men at least, British researchers report today.

The new study links vitamin D, found in oily fish, to improved brain power in elderly and middle-aged men.

The body's main source of vitamin D is sunlight, which triggers its creation in the skin.

Fish has long been thought to boost brain power - but the Manchester University research suggests the reason may be vitamin D rather than healthy oils in the meat.

The findings come from a study of more than 3,000 men over the age of 40 from eight centres across Europe and are reported today in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

The researchers admit the link between the vitamin and mental agility is "comparatively small".

Researcher Dr David Lee said: "Previous studies exploring the relationship between vitamin D and cognitive performance in adults have produced inconsistent findings but we observed a significant, independent association between a slower information processing speed and lower levels of vitamin D.

"Interestingly, the association between increased vitamin D and faster information processing was more significant in men aged over 60 years, although the biological reasons for this remain unclear."

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2009; doi 10.1136/jnnp.2008.165720

Tags: Brain & Neurology | Diet & Food | Europe | General Health | Menís Health | UK News

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