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Fish May Be Brain Food

Teenage boys who regularly eat fish may be doing their brains some good, a new study suggests.

Swedish researchers found that among nearly 5,000 15-year-old boys they surveyed, those who ate fish more than once per week tended to score higher on intelligence tests three years later.

The findings are published in the journal Acta Pediatrica, March 2009.
 
Researchers believe that the omega-3 fats found in fish -- particularly oily fish like salmon, mackerel and, to a lesser extent, albacore tuna -- are important to early brain development and to maintaining healthy brain function throughout life.

The findings are based on data from 4,792 male adolescents who completed detailed questionnaires on diet and lifestyle when they were 15 years old, then underwent standard intelligence tests when they were 18.

On average, the researchers found those who ate fish more than once per week scored higher than those who ate fish less than weekly. This remained true when the researchers accounted for several other factors that influence both children's diets and their intelligence scores -- like parents' education levels and the family's socioeconomic status.

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