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Smart Girls Eat Fish
ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 20 June 2008 | Ann Gibbons

Posted on 06/22/2008 10:18:31 PM PDT by neverdem

Girls who eat more omega-3 fatty acids outsmart those who eat higher amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, according to new research. As a result of this and other studies, government dietary recommendations--especially those aimed at pregnant women--should emphasize fish over soy and corn oils, which are respectively high in these fatty acids, says Joseph Hibbeln, a psychiatrist and lipid biochemist at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Bethesda, Maryland. "We don't want the brain to be deficient in its critical nutrients during development." The omega-3 advantage was first hinted at in studies of distribution of body fat. Earlier this year, William Lassek, an epidemiologist at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, and anthropologist Steven Gaulin of the University of California, Santa Barbara, reported that women who accumulated more fat on their hips than on their waists--and who, therefore, had low waist-hip ratios like many movie stars--had higher cognitive test scores, as did their children. They proposed that because the fat on the hips and thighs contains more omega-3s than belly fat does, these women were storing omega-3s critical for fetal and infant brain development--and boosting their own brainpower as they grew up. They also predicted that women who ate more omega-3s would perform better on cognitive tests than those who ate more omega-6s.

To test this hypothesis, Lassek and Gaulin analyzed data on about 4000 girls and boys between the ages of 6 and 16. The children had participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Study, part of a U.S. project to assess the health and nutritional status of kids and adults. After the researchers controlled for the parents' income and education and for the children's age, race, number of siblings, and blood lead levels, they found that girls who ate more omega-3 scored significantly better on four cognitive tests, including an IQ test.

Although genetics and parental education influence intelligence far more, the dietary effect explained about 1% of the difference in test scores between girls, about the same amount as exposure to lead, says Lassek. Boys also perform a bit better on cognitive tests if they eat more omega-3s than other fatty acids, but the effect is "twice as great in girls as in boys," says Lassek. That disparity suggests that evolution has favored girls who stow omega-3 fats on their lower bodies. The team, which presented its findings earlier this month at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society meeting in Kyoto, Japan, also found that omega-6 fatty acids interfere with cognition, because girls who ate more of these oils didn't perform as well.

Other researchers who have studied omega-3s are not surprised to see the link between omega-3s and intelligence: "Deficiency in omega-3 intake in modern diets is associated with an increased risk of violence, major depression, suicide, and bipolar disorder," says Hibbeln, so seeing a connection to another aspect of brain function makes sense, particularly because neurons use fatty acids to build axons. Most important, he says, is the omega-6 finding. "The big change in the Western diet of the past 100 years is a massive increase in the dietary intake of omega-6 fatty acids," he says. Hibbeln has advised the U.S. government to revise its recent advisory warning that pregnant women reduce their consumption of fish during pregnancy because of mercury toxicity; he says the dangers can be avoided easily by limiting consumption of certain fish.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: diet; health; intelligence; omega3fattyacids; omega6fattyacids
pVHL: A Multipurpose Adaptor Protein

It's a link to an unrelated abstract, but it's food for thought. How many other proteins are multitasking like pVHL? Most of them seem to be named for the first function that experimenters discover, e.g. alcohol dehydrogenase, aldehyde dehydrogenase, etc.

1 posted on 06/22/2008 10:18:32 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
Won't touch that headline with a ten foot pole.
2 posted on 06/22/2008 10:24:28 PM PDT by Ratblaster ( Obama's house, Rezko's yard)
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To: Ratblaster; neverdem; JRios1968

Ummmm. Tuna Tacos! ;-)


3 posted on 06/22/2008 10:27:26 PM PDT by Clemenza (No Comment)
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To: neverdem

I think something like 30 percent of a human adults brain is DHA - Docohexanoic acid. One of the main Omega 3’s in coldwater fish.

There is also a sizeable content of DHA in human breast milk.


4 posted on 06/22/2008 10:28:52 PM PDT by djf (I don't believe in perpetual motion. Perpetual mutton, that's another thing entirely!)
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To: Clemenza

5 posted on 06/22/2008 10:31:28 PM PDT by JRios1968 ("If you go over a cliff with all flags flying, you are still going over a cliff"--Ronald Reagan)
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To: neverdem

<...advised the U.S. government to revise its recent advisory warning that pregnant women reduce their consumption of fish during pregnancy because of mercury toxicity...>

And people wonder why we have a surge in autism? Could it be because of the huge uptick in mercury, not only in fish, but in the environment in general? The Chinese power industry, which burns coal for electrical generation, puts millions of tons of mercury into the air each year (their facilities do not have air scrubbers).

We limit our intake of fish in this family to twice a week. I don’t like fish much except for anchovies, shrimp and oysters on my pizza!! (No one else will eat it.)


6 posted on 06/22/2008 10:31:37 PM PDT by SatinDoll (Desperately desiring a conservative government.)
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To: neverdem; girlangler; Allegra; TheMom; Brucifer


~ ping ~
7 posted on 06/22/2008 10:33:12 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: neverdem

Brain food.


8 posted on 06/22/2008 10:36:18 PM PDT by TBP
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To: Clemenza

oy vey!

9 posted on 06/22/2008 10:39:36 PM PDT by robomatik ((wine plug: renascentvineyards.com cabernet sauvignon, riesling, and merlot))
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To: SatinDoll
Here's an interesting list (Fish, levels of mercury and omega-3 fatty acids).

Looks like salmon and herring have the best ratios, followed by sole and crab. ...and a few others.

10 posted on 06/22/2008 10:45:39 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: Mr. Mojo

Thanks for the link.

We eat a lot of salmon, halibut, shrimp, clams and oysters. I’ve never eaten shark or sailfish; must be doing OK.


11 posted on 06/22/2008 11:18:40 PM PDT by SatinDoll (Desperately desiring a conservative government.)
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To: El Gato; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; Dianna; ...
Martian Skies Cool pics at the Boston Globe!

FDA Requests Seizure of Animal Food Products at PETCO Distribution Center

"Gay Genes" May Be Good for Women

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.

12 posted on 06/22/2008 11:31:13 PM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: neverdem

bookmark


13 posted on 06/23/2008 12:04:08 AM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: TBP

Brain farts here


14 posted on 06/23/2008 12:20:17 AM PDT by wastedyears (Obama is a Texas Post Turtle.)
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To: Clemenza

Tuna tacos ....personally I prefer fresh oysters. Much better for pearl diving, and the payoff for finding a pearl can be quite beneficial.


15 posted on 06/23/2008 1:27:15 AM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: Ratblaster

I got a 20 foot pole and still won’t touch it, don’t feel like being banned tonight.


16 posted on 06/23/2008 1:45:36 AM PDT by Pylon (Remember boys, flies spread disease, so keep yours closed.)
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To: neverdem
Thank you, Neverdem, for posting this. I did some follow up research and I'm going to incorporate Omega-3 supplements into my family's diet. You done good... ; )
17 posted on 06/23/2008 2:50:30 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: neverdem

“Deficiency in omega-3 intake in modern diets is associated with an increased risk of violence, major depression, suicide, and bipolar disorder,”

A study in a British prison showed that when they gave omega-3 supplements to prisoners the incidence of violence declined by over 30%.

The worst thing about the American diet is its move from predominantly omega-3 based oils (from grass-fed meat and fish) to omega-6 based oils (vegetable oils). The switch to a heavy grain based diet in general has caused many health problems in our society, not to mention the social issues arising from lack of omega-3 oils for the brain.


18 posted on 06/23/2008 4:27:44 AM PDT by webstersII
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To: SatinDoll
Smoked sailfish is the best.
Being a gamefish though, you won't find it commercially.
19 posted on 06/23/2008 4:39:39 AM PDT by Vinnie (You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Jihads You)
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To: webstersII
Thanks. It bears repeating:

The worst thing about the American diet is its move from predominantly omega-3 based oils (from grass-fed meat and fish) to omega-6 based oils (vegetable oils). The switch to a heavy grain based diet in general has caused many health problems in our society, not to mention the social issues arising from lack of omega-3 oils for the brain.

20 posted on 06/23/2008 10:06:04 AM PDT by TheMightyQuinn
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To: Clemenza
Yeah, well, one of the smatest women I know comes from central Mexico (no fish) and will only eat meat. Won't eat fish on a bet.

Can't comment on the taco............never tried it.

21 posted on 06/23/2008 12:30:11 PM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: spetznaz

Hopefully not Rocky Mountain or Prairie Oysters..............


22 posted on 06/23/2008 12:31:47 PM PDT by doorgunner69
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