New research is casting doubt on whether foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and nuts, can preserve your memory as you age.
"I try to eat as much fish as I can," said Barbara Jean Ence, a senior citizen.
Researchers from Iowa followed more than 2,000 women aged 65 and older for an average of six years. They found no relationship between the level of omega-3 fatty acids in the women's blood and their cognitive ability as they got older.
But experts say the study is limited because it only measures omega-3 levels in the bloodstream.
"You cannot conclude from this study that having omega-3 in your diet is not important for your brain health," said Dr. Peter Whitehouse, a neurologist at University Hospital Case Medical Center.
The researchers themselves say people shouldn't change their diets because of the study. They say fish and nuts are still good for you.
"They are important for practically all aspects of body health, particularly heart. It may also affect other things like risk for cancers," Whitehouse said.
Senior citizen Julia Amezqua says she and all her friends eat fish and take omega-3 supplements.
"I'm still gonna take it because I think it's good for you," Amezqua said.
Experts say fish and nuts are a good alternative to red meat and full-fat dairy products, which are high in saturated fats.
The women in the study were part of the Women's Health Initiative clinical trials of hormone therapy.
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