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Eating Fish Once A Week Linked To Higher IQ And Better Sleep

3 years, 8 months ago

5207  0
Posted on Feb 02, 2018, 11 a.m.

The University of Pennsylvania has conducted a new study with findings published in Scientific Reports showing that the regular consumption of fish improves cognition and sleep. Researchers observed that children who consumed fish at minimum once per week slept better and had higher IQs by 4 points on average. This is the first study to link all three together.

 

The University of Pennsylvania has conducted a new study with findings published in Scientific Reports showing that the regular consumption of fish improves cognition and sleep. Researchers observed that children who consumed fish at minimum once per week slept better and had higher IQs by 4 points on average. This is the first study to link all three together.

 

In the past studies have shown a relationship between omega 3 fatty acids, found in many types of fish,  and improved intelligence as well as better sleep, but never before have they been linked. This research suggests that sleep may be a possible mediating pathway, a possible missing link between intelligence and fish.

 

This research looked at omega 3s coming from a food source rather than as a supplement. The study in China involved 591 children ranging in age from 9 to 11 years old. 54% of the children being male, and 46% being female. They all completed a questionnaire asking how often they consumed fish within the past month, answering using options ranging from never to at least once per week. They also took the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised, this test examines the non-verbal and verbal skills such as coding and vocabulary, it is the Chinese version of an IQ test. Their parents answered questions about their sleep patterns using the standardized Children Sleep Habits Questionnaire, that includes topics ranging from sleep frequency, duration, and occurrence of waking up at night, and day time sleepiness. Researchers controlled for demographic information, including parental marital status, education, occupation, and the number of children in the home.

 

The Penn state team analyzed the data and found that the children who reported that they ate fish weekly had IQ points that scored on average 4.8 points higher than those that reported consuming fish seldom or never. The children who reported that they sometimes consumed fish scored 3.3 points higher. Increased fish consumption was also shown to be associated with fewer sleep disturbances, which is an indicator if better overall sleep according to the researchers.

 

Details about the types of fish consumed were not analyzed due to the age of the study group. The researchers plan on doing another study using older participants. The researchers note that this current observational study was to establish using randomized controlled trials that consuming fish can lead to better school performance, better sleep, and other real life practical outcomes.

 

Researchers recommend incrementally incorporating additional fish consumption into diets, as the consumption of fish even once per week, as defined by this study, puts a family into the high fish consumption group. Adding if fish improves sleep it also improves cognitive performance.

 

 

Materials provided by University of Pennsylvania.

Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

Jianghong Liu, Ying Cui, Linda Li, Lezhou Wu, Alexandra Hanlon, Jennifer Pinto-Martin, Adrian Raine, Joseph R. Hibbeln. The mediating role of sleep in the fish consumption – cognitive functioning relationship: a cohort study. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-17520-w

 

 

 

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