Eating a diet rich in oily fish can reduce people’s chances of ill health in retirement by up to a quarter, researchers found. A study of more than 2,500 pensioners found those with higher blood levels of omega-3 fats were 24 per cent less likely to develop age-related illnesses such as dementia, heart disease and cancer.
The essential fatty acids – found in seafood such as salmon, mackerel and sardines – are known to boost the brain, heart and vision.
Now scientists say they could help the population remain in good health for longer. They believe omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, known as n-3 PUFA, help regulate blood pressure, heart rate and inflammation.
With a growing ageing population, the number of people living into old age is increasing but so is chronic disease.
‘Human trials show favourable effects,’ said Dr Heidi Lai, from Tufts University in Boston. ‘These findings support guidelines for increased dietary consumption in older adults.’