Fish oil was recently reported to aid in the treatment of leukemia. Very soon, another report by scientists from the American Academy of Neurology has revealed that a diet rich in vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids could help prohibit brain shrinkage that is normally associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Specifically, vitamins C, D, E and B along with omega 3 fatty acids were cited to have protective attributes. Importantly, vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish while vitamin B, C and E are mostly found in fruits and vegetables.

Study author Gene Bowman, ND, MPH, of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland and a member of the American Academy of Neurology commented, “These results need to be confirmed, but obviously it is very exciting to think that people could potentially stop their brains from shrinking and keep them sharp by adjusting their diet.”

In the trial, around 104 individuals aged 87 on an average and facing very few problems related to thinking and memory were examined. The group was exposed to blood tests for measuring the proportions of different nutrients in the bloodstream. They were also asked to complete mental tests after which their brain volumes were checked under a MRI scanner.

Though, most of the subjects seemed to have many nutritional ingredients in their body, around 7% of them were deficient in vitamin B12 and about 25% of them lacked sufficient amounts of vitamin D. As per the outcomes, the aforesaid nutrient markers influenced brain volume and scores of memory tests. For the latter, the difference seen was almost 17% whereas for the former around 37% variation was observed.

Other variables like education, hypertension and age resulted in 17% variation seen in the participants. Another finding of the study was that a diet rich in trans fat may cause brain shrinkage and have a negative influence on thinking and memory.

The report is published in the journal, Neurology.