Children who eat fish at least once a week sleep better and have IQ scores that are four points higher, on average, than those who consume fish less frequently or not at all, according to new findings from the University of Pennsylvania.
The study, which was published last week in Scientific Reports, a nature journal, revealed a relationship between Omega-3s, the fatty acids in many types of fish, and improved intelligence, as well as omega-3s and better sleep.
The study, jointly conducted by Jianghong Liu, Jennifer Pinto-Martin and Alexandra Hanlon of the School of Nursing and Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor Adrian Raine, revealed sleep as a possible mediating pathway, the potential missing link between fish and intelligence.
The lead author of the study, Liu said this area of research is not well-developed but it’s emerging. “Here we look at omega-3s coming from our food instead of from supplements,” he added.
For the work, a cohort of 541 9-11 year-olds in China, 54 percent boys and 46 percent girls, completed a questionnaire about how often they consumed fish in the past month, with options ranging from “never” to “at least once per week.”
They also took the Chinese version of an IQ test called the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised, which examines verbal and non-verbal skills such as vocabulary and coding.
Source: Daily Trust