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Home Industry News Fish consumption ‘linked to better sleep and higher IQ among children’

Fish consumption ‘linked to better sleep and higher IQ among children’

22nd December 2017

Eating more fish could help to improve sleeping habits and brain power among children, according to new research.

The University of Pennsylvania study enrolled 541 Chinese children aged between nine and 11, who completed a questionnaire on how often they consumed fish in the past month, before being assessed on the general intelligence and sleep quality.

Children who reported eating fish on a weekly basis scored 4.8 points higher on the IQ exams than those who said they seldom or never consumed fish, while increased fish consumption was also associated with fewer disturbances of sleep.

Previous studies have shown a relationship between omega-3 – the fatty acids prevalent in many types of fish – and improved intelligence, while others have linked omega-3 to better sleep. However, this is the first piece of research to link all of these factors, suggesting that the improved IQ performance may be a consequence of better sleeping habits.

Professor Adrian Raine, a member of the research team at the University of Pennsylvania, said: "If the fish improves sleep, great. If it also improves cognitive performance – like we've seen here – even better. It's a double hit."

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