Fish consumption could prevent Parkinson’s disease

Shedding light on the link between consumption of fish and better long-term neurological health.

Fischbrötchen, Fish
Image: Pixabay

Fish has long been considered a healthy food, linked to improved long-term cognitive health, but the reasons for this have been unclear. Omega-3 and -6, fatty acids commonly found in fish, are often assumed to be responsible and are commonly marketed in this fashion.

Now, a new study by the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden enlightens the relation between fish consumption and better long-term neurological health. The protein called parvalbumin found in fish may be contributing to this effect.

Scientists discovered that the protein could make amyloid structures that bind together with the alpha-synuclein protein, which is a particular human protein that sometimes referred to as the ‘Parkinson’s protein’.

Parvalbumin effectively ‘scavenges’ the alpha-synuclein proteins, using them for its own purposes, thus preventing them from forming their own potentially harmful amyloids later on. It efficiently collects the ‘Parkinson’s protein’ and actually prevents it from aggregating, simply by aggregating itself first.

Nathalie Scheers, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering said, “Fish is normally a lot more nutritious at the end of the summer, because of increased metabolic activity. Levels of parvalbumin are much higher in fish after they have had a lot of sun, so it could be worthwhile increasing consumption during autumn.

Other neurodegenerative ailments, including Alzheimer’s, ALS and Huntington’s sickness, are likewise caused by certain amyloid structures meddling in the mind. The group is in this manner quick to explore this theme further, to check whether the revelation identifying with Parkinson’s infection could have suggestions for other neurodegenerative diseases also. Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede stresses the significance of discovering approaches to battle these neurological conditions later on:

“These diseases come with age, and people are living longer and longer. There’s going to be an explosion of these diseases in the future – and the scary part is that we currently have no cures. So we need to follow up on anything that looks promising.”

Scientists noted, “It will be very interesting to study how parvalbumin distributes within human tissues in more depth. There could be some really exciting results.”

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.